Azerbaijan says its forces have broken through Armenian lines in Karabakh
LONDON : Azerbaijani forces have broken through a line of contact with Armenian forces in Nagorno-Karabakh in several places and are determined to fulfil their strategic goals, Hikmet Hajiyev, foreign policy adviser to President Ilham Aliyev, told Reuters on Tuesday.
Hajiyev was speaking after his country launched military action in Karabakh, a mountainous region internationally recognised as Azerbaijani, part of which is run by breakaway ethnic Armenians who say it is their ancestral homeland.
Armenia on Tuesday denied having any forces in the area. However, many Armenians have in the past volunteered to fight for Nagorno-Karabakh.
Hajiyev, said Baku would only be ready to talk to the Karabakh Armenians once they had raised the white flag and disarmed. He said Azerbaijan had no military objectives in neighbouring Armenia.
"The intention of Azerbaijan is to close a chapter of animosity and confrontation," he said. "Enough is enough. We cannot tolerate any longer having such armed forces on our territory and also a structure which, on a daily basis, challenges the security and sovereignty of Azerbaijan."
He said Baku believed that what he called its anti-terrorism action would achieve its strategic goal of ensuring full sovereignty over its territory.
(Reporting by Andrew Osborn; Editing by Kevin Liffey)