Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Disputes: Azerbaijan's defence minister warns of war with Armenia

Azerbaijan’s defence minister has said that the long-standing dispute over the Armenian-controlled territory of Nagorno-Karabakh is almost certain to eventually lead to war if it remains unresolved.

“As long as Azerbaijani territory is occupied by Armenia, the chance of war is close to 100 percent,” Abiyev said during a meeting in Kazakhstan of defence chiefs from former Soviet republics.

In the final years before the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the region was a source of dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan, culminating in the Nagorno-Karabakh War. Since the ceasefire in 1994, most of Nagorno-Karabakh and several regions of Azerbaijan around it remain under joint Armenian and NKR Defense Forces control. The parties have been holding peace talks mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group ever since.