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The foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia are meeting in Moscow today to discuss a possible solution to the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, where more than 400 people have died since September 27.
There have been hostile relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia since the 1990s, when there was a war over Nagorno-Karabakh, a predominantly Armenian population.
Kalnu Karabakh, which was part of the Azerbaijani SSR during the Soviet era, has been a “de facto” independent Republic of Armenia since the early 1990s. Although Azerbaijan has not controlled Nagorno-Karabakh since the collapse of the USSR, it considers the Armenian region to be its territory. Nagorno-Karabakh is also considered by the international community to be part of Azerbaijan, and no country has recognized the region as an independent state.
Nagorno-Karabakh declared independence in 1991. Its secession from Azerbaijan contributed to the outbreak of war between Azerbaijan and Armenia. About 35,000 people lost their lives in the war, and more than a million people in both countries were forced to flee their homes.
“Let those who are negotiating in Moscow know that this is our territory and we will not give in,” Aliyev said.
He emphasized that no country could influence Azerbaijan’s decision and that no talks would take place if Armenia continued to claim that Nagorno-Karabakh was part of its territory.
Aliyev said that Azerbaijan had used force to change the situation on the ground and had proved that there was a military solution to the dispute.
The talks in Moscow follow the peace initiative launched by France, Russia and the United States in Geneva on Thursday.