Baku can agree to granting broad autonomy to Nagorno-Karabakh

Baku can agree to granting a broad autonomy to Nagorno-Karabakh as a constituent of Azerbaijan if the principles of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan are observed. Chairman of the Azeri Milli Mejlis (the upper house of parliament) Murtuz Aleskerov said this to journalists on Tuesday after his meeting with Chairman of the Russian Federation Council Yegor Stroyev. According to him, "another solution of the Karabakh conflict will not be granted consent of the Azerbaijan people." Murtuz Aleskerov pointed out that he was against the use of a double standard with regard to Azerbaijan. According to him, "there exist generally recognised norms of sovereignty and territorial integrity for every state, and they must be applied also to our country." Murtuz Aleskerov said that if President Geidar Aliyev made concessions to Nagorno-Karabakh, this might cause dissatisfaction among the political forces in Azerbaijan. The Chairman of the upper house of the Azeri parliament also said that if the Karabakh conflict is settled, "Azerbaijan will undoubtedly open all the roads that connect Azerbaijan with Armenia, including those leading to Nakhichevan." "We shall restore good-neighbourly and friendly relations with Armenia after settling the Karabakh conflict, but only on condition of returning our refugees, that is, more than one million people," he said. Speaking about the settlement of the Karabakh conflict, Yegor Stroyev noted that "there is a golden rule of non-interference in the borders which have arisen between the two states," said he. "There are principles of independence and integrity of the states," he remarked. According to Yegor Stroyev, during his conversation with Murtuz Aleskerov, they discussed in detail not only the situation concerning Nagorno-Karabakh but also in the developments in the Caucasus as a whole.

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