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Azerbaijani president raises national flag in Karabakh

Azerbaijani president raises national flag in Karabakh

By Ruslan Rehimov

BAKU (AA) - Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev raised the national flag in Karabakh on Sunday, as he issued a warning to revenge-seeking forces in Armenia from undertaking any misadventure.

"It is a historic day today, I sincerely congratulate all the people of Azerbaijan on this occasion," Aliyev said in a speech in the city of Khankendi, once considered the so-called capital by the occupying regime in Karabakh.

"Exactly 20 years ago, the people of Azerbaijan showed great confidence in me by electing me as the president. At that time, I addressed my people and promised that I would defend the national interests of the Azerbaijani people and the Azerbaijani state and that I would protect the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan ... I am glad that all the promises I made during the last 20 years and all the tasks I set before myself have been fulfilled," he added.

He said "we have been waiting for this day for more than 30 years."

The president said Azerbaijan wanted the Karabakh issue to be resolved peacefully, but then their "hopes dwindled" after participating in "fruitless" and "meaningless" negotiations for many years.

He said last month's counter-terrorism operation was "inevitable" as Armenia "had no intention of returning even an inch of land to us."

"The people of Azerbaijan achieved this victory at the cost of their blood and lives," Aliyev said. "The flag I raised today will fly here forever, and we will live here forever. Karabakh is ours, Karabakh is Azerbaijan!"

The Azerbaijani army initiated the anti-terrorism operation in Karabakh on Sept. 19 to establish constitutional order.

Illegal Armenian armed forces in Karabakh surrendered after the 24-hour operation, and Azerbaijan established full sovereignty in the region.

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