22 July 2020 14:00 | By Marc Perelman
In an interview with FRANCE 24, Hikmet Hajiyev, a senior adviser to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, reacted to the recent flare-up in violence between Armenia and Azerbaijan. At least 16 people have been killed on the border in the worst violence in the region since 2016. Hajiyev said that Armenia had deliberately pursued a policy of aggression towards his country and warned that he was expecting further military moves from Armenia “at any moment”. He also accused Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan of advancing a bellicose nationalist agenda.
The senior adviser to Azerbaijan’s president said the situation at the border with Armenia reminded him of World War I between France and Germany, with heavily armed soldiers facing each other in border trenches. Hajiyev warned that any spark could lead to a full-blown conflict. He accused Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan of advancing a bellicose nationalist agenda despite claims when he was elected that he wanted to achieve peace with Azerbaijan.
Hajiyev said the threat by Azerbaijan to strike a civilian nuclear plant in Armenia had been made by a low-level military officer and did not reflect his country’s official stance. He went on to accuse Armenia of targeting civilian targets in his country.
He brushed aside claims that Turkey was the reason for the recent flare-up of tension and said that Baku was ready to address and resolve the long-standing conflict with Armenia.