ANKARA

The Azerbaijani army has liberated several more settlements from Armenian occupation, Azerbaijan’s president announced Friday. 

In a public address, Ilham Aliyev said the settlement of Hadrut north of Ceyrayil city, as well as several villages including Chayli, Yukhari Guzlak, Gorazilli, Gishlag, Garajalli, Afandilar, Suleymanli and Sur, had rejoined with the rest of Azerbaijan’s territory in a “historic victory.”

With the liberation of Hadrut, the province of Fuzuli was surrounded and a narrow corridor was left for the people there to leave, said Aliyev.

“We’ll take our lands. We want to get them in a peaceful way,” he said.

He also warned that the Armenian side would regret it if they “cheat” following a trilateral consultative meeting in Moscow between the foreign ministers of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia over the conflict in Upper Karabakh.

“We’re giving Armenia one last chance. They shouldn’t put their trust in anyone.”

Upper Karabakh conflict

The fighting began on Sept. 27, when Armenian forces targeted civilian Azerbaijani settlements and military positions in the region, leading to casualties.

Relations between the two ex-Soviet republics have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Upper Karabakh, or Nagorno-Karabakh, an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan.

Multiple UN resolutions, as well as many international organizations, demand the withdrawal of the invading forces.

The OSCE Minsk Group — co-chaired by France, Russia, and the US — was formed in 1992 to find a peaceful solution to the conflict, but to no avail. A cease-fire, however, was agreed upon in 1994.

Many world powers, including Russia, France and the US, have urged an immediate cease-fire.

Turkey, meanwhile, has supported Baku’s right to self-defense and demanded the withdrawal of Armenia’s occupying forces.

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