Baku mulls amnesty to groups in Nagorno-Karabakh that lay down weapons
Azerbaijan says that armed groups in the region can be permitted to live in the region on condition that they lay down their arms.
Azerbaijan is contemplating the potential implementation of an amnesty for Nagorno-Karabakh combatants who voluntarily surrender their arms, Reuters reported on Friday.
Citing President Ilham Aliyev's assistant, Hikmet Hajiyev, the news agency said that Baku is open to permitting the departure of members from the armed groups in the region who have chosen to lay down their weapons.
"Currently, we are seeing that some individual army groups and officers that made the public statements that they won't come to our terms and will continue resistance," Hajiyev was quoted as saying.
On Tuesday, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry announced launching an "anti-terrorist operation" within the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh region with the aim of "restoring the constitutional order."
The operation lasted one day before the armed groups surrendered, and military activities were halted by Baku.
Armenia recognizes Nagorno-Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan
The military escalation came just days after Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan officially acknowledged that his country recognizes the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region as part of Azerbaijan's sovereign territory.
The Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict has been largely centered around the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, which is an internationally recognized part of Azerbaijan populated mostly by ethnic Armenians, and which has been a source of conflict between the two Caucasus neighbors dating back to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Despite occasional talks on a peace settlement to resolve disputes and normalize relations, tensions remain high and border clashes are common. In two days of fighting in September of last year, around 300 soldiers were killed on both sides.
Due to a lack of military response by Armenia in the latest clash, angry demonstrators in Yerevan blocked the Tigran Mets avenue in close proximity to the government premises and called on Pashinyan to resign.
Armenian residents in Nagorno-Karabakh held the international community responsible for its inability to prevent a renewed conflict in the breakaway region.
🇦🇲🇦🇿Protesters in Yerevan chanting "Nikol (Pashinyan) is a traitor!" pic.twitter.com/sQrmzGSBDU— DD Geopolitics (@DD_Geopolitics) September 19, 2023