The President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, demanded on Sunday the withdrawal of Armenian forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh region on the eighth day of battles between the separatists loyal to Yerevan and the Azerbaijani army, calling on Armenia also to apologize.
“I have only one condition” for a ceasefire, Aliyev said in a televised speech, “The Armenian armed forces should leave our lands,” and demanded that the Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan “apologize to the Azerbaijani people”.
He added, “Let him say, ‘I want to withdraw my forces from the occupied lands… Let him say that Karabakh is not Armenia”.
He demanded that Pashinyan define a “clear plan” for an Armenian withdrawal from the disputed region, continuing, “In such a case, we will restore the ceasefire regime,” stressing that what Azerbaijan is doing is to restore “historical justice”.
On Sunday, Armenian separatist militants in Nagorno Karabakh and the Azerbaijani army intensified the exchange of artillery shelling, which targeted especially the separatist capital and the second city of Azerbaijan, on the eighth day of the bloody fighting.
The two sides also intensified fiery statements, ignoring calls from the international community for a ceasefire, and each of them held the other responsible for the outbreak of fighting.