Azerbaijan says aims for 'peaceful reintegration' of Karabakh Armenians
Azerbaijan said Wednesday it aimed to peacefully "reintegrate" Armenians living in the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, and that it supported normalising ties with historic rival Armenia.
Baku earlier announced an end to its one-day offensive in Karabakh after reaching a deal with ethnic Armenian separatists, who agreed to lay down their arms and hold integration talks with Azerbaijan.
"Azerbaijan's agenda is about peaceful reintegration of Karabakh Armenians, and Azerbaijan also supports the normalisation process between Armenia and Azerbaijan," said presidential foreign policy advisor Hikmet Hajiyev.
He said Baku was "ready" for talks with the separatists due in the Azerbaijani city of Yevlakh on Thursday, adding that it wanted a "smooth reintegration."
The offensive was seen as a major victory for Azerbaijan, which won a 2020 war with Armenia and has since sought to repopulate Karabakh.
The ceasefire required the ethnic Armenian separatists to lay down their arms and surrender.
Hajiyev said Azerbaijan would provide "safe passage" for separatist forces.
"Safe passage to appropriate assembly points will also be provided by the Azerbaijani side," he said.
He gave no further detail on the "assembly points" or where the fighters would go.
The official also said that all of Baku's actions were coordinated with Russian peacekeepers.
Russia deployed peacekeepers to Karabakh as part of a deal to end the war in 2020.
Hajiyev slammed criticism of the offensive as "misinformation" and said there was no need for the UN Security Council to convene following its operation.
"There is no need for such a meeting," he said, adding that any such gathering would be "detrimental" to agreements between the two sides.