Azerbaijan Urges Russia to Pressure Armenia over Karabakh

BAKU (Armenpress)–Azerbaijani Defense Minister Safar Abiyev urged Russia Tuesday to increase pressure on Armenia and force it to withdraw its troops from "the occupied lands" during a meeting with the visiting Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdukov.
The Russian defense minister began his official visit to Azerbaijan Monday and visited the Gabala Radar Station Tuesday, where Abiyev reiterated Baku’s accusations of Armenia and remarked that the Russia-led Commonwealth of Independent States was indifferent towards Armenian "aggression."
"Azerbaijan supports a peaceful settlement to the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. However, Azerbaijan will take other measures if the conflict cannot be settled through peaceful means," the Azerbaijani Minister said.
During a conference Monday of CIS Defense Ministers in the Kazakh capital Abiyev said, "the chance of war is close to 100 percent." His commen’s come as yet another belligerent repetition of warnings from Azerbaijani officials that the use of force to recapture Nagorno-Karabakh has not been ruled out if internationally mediated talks fail.
The Azerbaijani Prime Minister, who also received the Russian defense minister, was quoted by Trend news agency as saying that Baku has drastically increased its military spending for next year because of the unresolved conflict with Armenia.

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