In the images released by the Azerbaijani Presidency, Ilham Aliev appears triumphant. The President of Azerbaijan went on Tuesday, alongside his wife, to emblematic places in the territories reconquered during the recent conflict in Nagorny Karabakh against the Armenian separatists.
Azerbaijan and Armenia concluded a ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh on November 9 after six weeks of heavy fighting, granting significant territorial gains to Azerbaijan, which reclaims areas that had eluded it for three decades.
Photos and a video released by the presidency show President Aliyev and his wife Mehriban Alieva, who is also Vice President of Azerbaijan, cheered by the crowds as they travel from Jebrail to Fizuli, two district towns that were reclaimed in these past. last few weeks by Azerbaijani troops.
“No autonomy statute for Karabakh”
“There will be no autonomy statute for Karabakh. Azerbaijan is a united country, ”Ilham Aliev said in the video, at the controls of an armored vehicle. He is also shown exiting the vehicle as his wife films him with his phone, both in military uniform.
Holding hands, the couple were photographed against the backdrop of the medieval Khodaafarin Bridge on the Iranian border, under the control for nearly three decades of the authorities of the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh (or Nagorny Karabakh) republic. ). The Armenians “have destroyed everything here and will answer for it before the international tribunals”, declared the Azeri president while pointing to the panorama in ruins of Djebraïl.
VIDEO. Nagorno-Karabakh: Armenians burn their village to “leave nothing” to Azerbaijan
“Look what the enemy did to the city of Jebrail. Their aim was that Azerbaijanis never come back here, but we are going to live here. We are back on our homeland, ”he added.
30,000 dead and hundreds of thousands displaced.
Nagorno-Karabakh, a region with an Armenian majority, has been de facto independent from Azerbaijan since the 1990s and a war that has left 30,000 dead and hundreds of thousands displaced.
The fighting this year, the most violent in nearly thirty years, allowed Azerbaijan to retake part of Nagorno-Karabakh, but also seven neighboring districts which constituted a safety glacis for the Armenian separatists. Four of them, including those of Djebraïl and Fizouli, were taken back militarily, and three others are to be returned to Baku between November 20 and December 1.
The cease-fire agreement, signed under the aegis of Moscow, provides for the deployment of some 2,000 Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh.