BAKU, Azerbaijan, September 28. The current departure of Armenian residents from the territory of Azerbaijan is their voluntary and individual decision, Representative of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan for Special Assignments Elchin Amirbayov said in an interview with BBC's Newshour, Trend reports.
"This has nothing to do with the forced relocation or any desire of Azerbaijan for them to leave. They do have a choice. It is important to emphasize that we have called on them to stay and be a part of multiethnic Azerbaijan. If you look at what the Azerbaijani authorities have been doing over the last few days, delivering all sorts of humanitarian assistance, essential staples, medicaments, firefighting machines, we have already established electricity supply for 24 hours a day. While we do all those steps, it is very hard to prevent them from leaving, because if we tried to do so, we would have been accused of taking them hostage. So, we stepped back, we make our best in order to reassure them to stay. In future, those Armenians that left Azerbaijan can come back," he said.
Amirbayov also noted that Azerbaijan strongly condemns and rejects the statement made by Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan about the so-called "ethnic cleansing" allegedly happening in Karabakh.
"He is not only backtracking from his own statements as of September 21, when he said that there is no threat to local Armenians from the Azerbaijani authorities, but his alarming narrative is aimed at disrupting Azerbaijani efforts to deliver humanitarian assistance and to engage in the reintegration process with local Armenians. He also undermines possible peace prospects between Azerbaijan and Armenia," the official noted.
Meanwhile, in order to ensure the provisions of the Trilateral Statement, suppression of large-scale provocations in Azerbaijan's Karabakh economic region, disarmament, and withdrawal of Armenian armed forces formations from the territories of Azerbaijan, localized anti-terrorist activities were carried out in the region.
Taking into account the appeal of the representatives of the Armenian population of Karabakh through the Russian peacekeeping contingent, an agreement was reached on September 20, 2023, at 13:00 (GMT+4) to cease anti-terrorist activities.
Later, at the invitation of the Administration of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ramin Mammadov, responsible for contacts with the Armenian residents of Karabakh, met with representatives of the Armenian residents of Karabakh on September 21, 2023, in Yevlakh.
In the context of discussing social and humanitarian issues, the representatives of the Armenian residents of Azerbaijan's Karabakh region informed that there is a special need for fuel. At the same time, they asked for humanitarian assistance in the form of foodstuffs.
As a result of the meeting, their request was taken seriously. Until now, Azerbaijan has already supplied fuel for the heating systems of kindergartens and schools, as well as the emergency medical service and fire department, and provided humanitarian support for Karabakh residents.