Azerbaijan says it sees amnesty for Karabakh fighters who lay down arms

Armenian police officers guard the entrance to the Government House during a rally in Yerevan on Sept. 21, following Azerbaijani military operations in Nagorno-Karabakh (AFP)

Azerbaijan envisages an amnesty for Karabakh Armenian fighters who give up their arms, though there have been some Karabakh military units that have said they will continue their resistance, an Azeri presidential adviser told Reuters.

Ethnic Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh said on Thursday they needed security guarantees before giving up their weapons after Azerbaijan declared it had brought the breakaway region back under its control after a 24-hour military operation.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on Wednesday said his iron fist had consigned the idea of a separate ethnic Armenian Karabakh to history and that now the region would live in "paradise" as part of Azerbaijan.

Hikmet Hajiyev, foreign policy adviser to Azerbaijan's president, told Reuters in a television interview that Baku envisaged an amnesty for those Karabakh fighters who gave up their weapons.

"Even with regard to former militaries and combatants, if they can be classified in such a way, and even for them we are envisaging an amnesty or alluding to an amnesty as well," Hajiyev said.

Karabakh Armenian rights would be respected as part of their integration into Azerbaijan, he said, adding that they had requested humanitarian support as well as oil and gasoline supplies. Three cargos of humanitarian help would be delivered to the region on Friday, he said.

"Currently we are seeing that some individual army groups and officers that made the public statements that they won't come to our terms and will continue resistance," he said.

"We also see that some minor groups are going to the forest," he said. "But we do not see that to be the biggest challenge, and big security challenge. Of course, this will cause certain challenges and difficulties but not on a such a big scale."

Karabakh is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan, but its Armenian population has held de facto independence since breaking away in a war in the 1990s as the Soviet Union collapsed.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said that Armenia was prepared to accept refugees from Nagorno-Karabakh.

More from International News