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Aliyev Demands Return of Azerbaijanis to Armenia, Calls Republic of Armenia 'Western Azerbaijan,' Raising Sovereignty Concerns

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev is now calling for the right of Azerbaijanis to return to Armenia. In a recent meeting with Canadian Ambassador Kevin Hamilton, Aliyev asserted that representatives of the so-called “Community of Western Azerbaijan” should be allowed to return to their “indigenous” homes in Armenia.


The term “Western Azerbaijan” is a new claim by Azerbaijan over territories that are part of historic Armenia. This claim is part of Azerbaijan's broader efforts to assert control over land that they say was historically Azerbaijani. However, this move is seen as part of a larger strategy for potential occupation of Armenian territories. Armenia is a recognized independent country, and Azerbaijan’s claims are viewed as a challenge to its sovereignty.


During his discussion with Ambassador Hamilton, Aliyev reiterated that the right of return for Azerbaijanis should be a mutual agreement between the two nations. He cited historical events to justify this demand, referring to what he called the “ethnic cleansing” of Azerbaijanis from Armenia during the late 1980s. Aliyev claimed that during this period, Azerbaijani communities were displaced and their cultural and historical heritage was destroyed.


Aliyev also criticized the three permanent members of the UN Security Council—China, France, and the United States—for their handling of the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia. According to Aliyev, these countries failed to resolve the conflict because they preferred that Armenia's control over Nagorno-Karabakh be permanent.


In December 2023, substantial negotiations between Azerbaijan and Armenia resumed after Azerbaijan’s intense shelling and war against the indigenous people of Nagorno-Karabakh. Aliyev emphasized that these negotiations are focused on settling issues related to Nagorno-Karabakh, which Azerbaijan views as an internal matter rather than a subject for international mediation.


Aliyev explained that one of the main hurdles in the peace process according to him is Armenia’s Constitution. For a peace agreement to be finalized, Aliyev argues that Armenia must change its Constitution to remove. Despite this challenge, Aliyev is optimistic about the progress of the negotiations. He believes that a basic framework for a peace treaty could be established within a few months.


Overall, Aliyev's recent statements reflect Azerbaijan’s ongoing efforts to undermine Armenia and its people. The rhetoric from Azerbaijan mirrors the language Armenians use to describe their historical struggles with Turkey and Azerbaijan. This creates confusion within the international community. The Armenian diaspora has referred to Western Armenia (modern-day Turkey) for over a century, following the 1915 Armenian Genocide. Armenians also use the term "indigenous" to describe the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh, citing historical evidence of ethnic Armenians living in the region. We urge our readers not to fall victim to Aliyev’s manipulation tactics and to use trusted sources to understand the true context of these news stories.

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