Question: How would you comment on the assessments by the Press Secretary of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry of the recent events in Artsakh and his statement that the residents of Artsakh are "citizens of Azerbaijan"?
Answer: The residents of Artsakh are citizens of an independent, sovereign state called the Republic of Artsakh and have never been citizens of independent Azerbaijan.
Moreover, Azerbaijan does not have the moral right to consider the residents of Artsakh as citizens of a state, which, since its inception, has purposefully pursued a policy of terror, ethnic cleansing and massacres, seeking to deprive the people of Artsakh not only of life but also of their homeland.
One of the recent manifestations of the true attitude of the Azerbaijani authorities towards the citizens of Artsakh was the statement made by the same official representative of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry during the military aggression against Artsakh in April 2016 that "there is no civilian population" in Artsakh and "there is only a field and the military on the opposite side", trying to justify the killing of civilians in Artsakh.
The reaction of official Baku to the democratic processes in Artsakh and reforms carried out by the authorities of the republic testifies that Azerbaijan exists in a different system of values, where the Azerbaijani people themselves are deprived of their constitutional right to freely and independently decide their own fate and determine the form of government in their own country.