Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 29
By Elchin Mehdiyev - Trend:
There is an important task before Azerbaijani armed forces - to liberate Nagorno-Karabakh and other occupied districts of Azerbaijan, Azerbaijani defense minister, colonel general Zakir Hasanov said, the press service of the Azerbaijani defense ministry reported Dec.29.
Hasanov made the remarks speaking at the graduation ceremony for the students who have passed the specialized officer training at the Training and Education Center of the Azerbaijani armed forces.
The enemy must understand that the time has come to liberate Azerbaijan's native lands, he said.
He went on to add that the Azerbaijani army has been provided with the most sophisticated weapons and equipment.
"Azerbaijani troops enjoy superiority on the frontline," Hasanov said. "This year, the enemy suffered heavy losses as result of the effective retaliation from the Azerbaijani side. The enemy is in panic, running and looking for a place to hide. The only combat task that lays ahead our well-experienced soldiers is to pursue the enemy forces everywhere, detect and destroy their points. The real military strength of Azerbaijan allows us to do it."
The defense minister went on to add that each Azerbaijani army officer should be set an example for his military staff.
"Our soldiers should be able to expertly handle modern weapons and equipment and be always ready to defeat the enemy," Hasanov said.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the US are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the UN Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.