Speaking at the annual Munich Security Conference on February 17, Armenia’s president Serzh Sargsyan reacted to Ilham Aliyev’s recent pronouncement that “a return to Yerevan.. should be Azerbaijanis’ strategic goal.”
“President Aliyev uttered territorial claims reaching as far as Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, calling it a historically Azerbaijani territory – nothing but delirium – which can have serious consequences if Europe turns a blind eye to it,” Sargsyan said, according to the English version of the speech published by his press office.
Sargsyan neither elaborated about the consequences nor specify how he expected Europeans and others to react. The territorial claims, already made by Aliyev on a number of previous occasions, have in fact been mostly ignored in Europe and elsewhere. Aside from Armenia, the Russian foreign ministry spokesperson said that Aliyev’s comments “did not contribute to reduction of tensions” and several unusually critical reactions came from non-governmental Russian pundits.
The Armenian president himself did not say much on the Karabakh topic, his brief speech focused instead on the failed push to normalize Armenia-Turkey relations at the start of Sargsyan’s presidency in 2008-9.