Azerbaijan leader demands Armenian withdrawal, apology before ceasefire
President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan. /VCG Image

President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan. /VCG Image

Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev on Sunday set out conditions which must be fulfilled before any ceasefire between itself and Armenia takes effect.

Aliyev demanded that Armenia set a timeline for pulling out from the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh and all surrounding Azeri territories.

Aliyev further demanded that Armenian President Armen Sarkissian apologise for "declaring the occupied land of Azerbaijan are Armenians'".

Aliyev added that Azerbaijan had waited three decades to recover its lands: "Nagorno-Karabakh is Azeri territory. We must return and we will return," he said.

He had stated that Armenia's interim agenda for the withdrawal of its soldiers must be "accompanied not just in words but with action", with a release date for each area.

Aliyev also went on to say that problems in relations with Armenia must be addressed through meaningful dialogue.

The two landlocked nations have been involved in a dispute spanning several decades over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which has violently flared up in recent days.

Nagorno-Karabakh, a mountainous region approximately 1,400 square miles in size, is officially part of Azerbaijan but is largely occupied by ethnic Armenians.

(With input from agencies)