Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 21 / Trend, S. Aghayeva /
It is encouraging that President Serzh Sargsyan acknowledges that the unresolved conflict is a barrier to the development of both Armenia and the region, something that was repeatedly stated by Baku, Foreign Ministry spokesman Elman Abdullayev said at a briefing on Monday, commenting on President Sargsyan's interview with Radio Liberty.
"The President of Armenia confesses that Armenia spends a lot of money from their already meager budget on military expenditures. Is the occupation of a foreign country really worth the emigration from and poverty in Armenia?" Abdullayev said.
Armenian leadership should not sacrifice the future of their people for the sake of its political ambitions, Abdullayev said. The fact that Armenia is occupying part of Azerbaijan is recognized by the entire international community, he said.
"Meanwhile, Armenian leadership is trying to avoid responsibility for what is happening. Also, the question arises: what do Armenian armed forces do in occupied Azerbaijani territories?" Abdullayev said.
According to Abudllaev, the current Armenian leadership doesn't show the political will to resolve the conflict.
The start of a withdrawal of troops will create opportunities for Armenia and the region, Abdullayev said.
According to him, the unresolved Nagorno-Karabakh problem permanently prevents that.
Sargsyan said in an interview that Armenia does not have abundant natural resources and there is no easy flow of investments capable of developing the economy.
"That is, the more open our economy is, the more developed is the communication, the easier things will get for us", he said.
"We are simply compelled to have an army that doesn't correspond to the size of our country. I would also say our army, for its combat capability and type of weapons, doesn't match the size of our state either. But we must have a strong army equipped with modern weapons of the quantity and the size capable of securing objectives", Sargsyan said in an interview on January 21.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 per cent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France and the U.S. - are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
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