BEIRUT, LEBANON (3:30 P.M.) – Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said on Thursday that his country does not oppose the idea of deploying observers and peacekeeping forces in the Karabakh region in principle, but that it will present conditions for their entry.
In an interview with the Japanese newspaper Nikkei, Aliyev said that the Minsk group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe would make proposals regarding the composition of the observers’ mission and the peacekeeping forces, the number of its members and the dates of their deployment.
Aliyev reiterated Baku’s refusal to hold any referendum on Karabakh’s independence, without ruling out granting cultural autonomy to the Armenian population there.
Aliyev announced that he did not rule out the possibility of holding a summit meeting between him and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in the Russian capital, Moscow, to discuss the dispute over Karabakh.
Azerbaijan and Armenia announced that they had reached an agreement on a humanitarian truce on October 18, but the two sides exchanged accusations of violating it.
This truce is the second of its kind that has been announced since the outbreak of the military escalation in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, after the two sides reached a similar agreement in Moscow on the 10th of the same month during a tripartite meeting at the level of foreign ministers with the participation of Russia.