Azerbaijan’s defense minister threatens war again
BAKU (APA)—Azerbaijan intends to purchase a slew of weaponry from South Korea, according to a source in the South Korean parliament, Hankook Ilbo publications reports.
According to the source, the intention to purchase modern military weaponry was expressed during the visit of a South Korean parliamentary delegation to Azerbaijan. The Azeri leadership has expressed its wish to purchase submarine boats, mine vessels, transport ships, T-50 training planes, K-9 self-propelled artillery vehicles, and drones worth $3 billion from South Korea.
These proposals have been submitted to the government of South Korea, but the Korean side has not yet given consent to the deal.
According to Hankook Ilbo, Seoul is wary that the sale of weapons might affect the balance of power in the region. Taking into account that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict remains unsolved, the South Korea Foreign Ministry has called on the Defense Ministry to be cautious and exercise restraint while passing a decision.
Meanwhile, at a meeting with a delegation headed by Japanese Vice-Minister of Defense, Masahi Sato, Azerbaijani Defense Minister Safar Abiyev announced that his government will have to use military force against Armenia if negotiations don’t progress.
“Though priority is given to the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict through the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group, there have been no specific results,” Abiyev said.
“If the existence of Section 907 of the U.S. Congress is also taken into account, we will see what tension reigns in the region. If this situation continues, we will face the necessity to use the capabilities of our military,” Abiyev said.
Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act, which was passed by Congress in 1992, bans direct aid to the Azeri government. In 2001, the Senate granted the U.S. President the powers to waive Section 907. That waiver has been exercised every year since 2002.
During the meeting between Azeri and Japanese officials it was also agreed that Azerbaijan and Japan are to prepare an agreement on bilateral military cooperation, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry told Trend news agency.
The parties also noted the development of cultural and economic relations between Japan and Azerbaijan.
The Azeri defense minister said bilateral cooperation will contribute to the deepening of relations between the two countries.
The meeting was attended by Azeri Ambassador to Japan Gursel Ismailzade and Japanese Ambassador to Azerbaijan Shusuke Watanabe.