Aliyev Threatens Military Action Against Karabakh

MOSCOW (Armenpress)–Azeri President Ilham Aliyev, in an interview with the Ekho Moskovy radio station Saturday vowed that his country would never grant independence to Nagorno-Karabakh and would resort to military action if all else failed. "Nagorno-Karabakh is our land, our territory," he said. Aliyev reiterated that Azerbaijan should develop its economy and step up diplomatic efforts to become a more important country than Armenia. "Actually we are now more important than Armenia, but we have to go forward and turn the scale to our side," he said. Aliyev said Azerbaijan has offered several models for Nagorno-Karabakh-autonomy, self-administration and the highest degree of autonomy. "No one needs an independent state with a total population of 60,000," Aliyev argued, adding that being a minority does not suppose separatism. Aliyev again said that the key to the conflict resolution was in Moscow. Summing up the results of the past year in an interview with Trend news agency Azeri foreign minister Elmar Mamedyarov said, "the negotiation process for the Nagorno Karabakh conflict resolution, which is the priority of Azerbaijani foreign policy, proceeded very intensively." He voiced hope that progress on the issue will be achieved in 2007. According to Mamedyarov," the development of the regional and world situation is leading to this." Saying "we are used to the "surprises" of the Armenian side, Mamedyarov noted, "If we consider that 2007 is an election year in Armenia, it can be presented as a "factor." But I hope that the authorities of Armenia will take a correct decision and will demonstrate political will."As for the format of the talks, currently there is no need to change it, since in 2006 and before that the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs carried out immense work in the framework of the Prague process, and I hope their efforts will not pass in vain," he said.

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