Azerbaijani Army on Full Alert in Contact Line with Armenian Armed Forces
Azerbaijan, Baku, 24 April / corr. Trend I. Alizade/ The Armed Forces of Azerbaijan is on full alert in the contact line between Azerbaijan and the Armenian armed forces in connection with the so-called 'Armenian genocide' marked by Armenians on 24 April.
"The Armed Forces of Azerbaijan is on full alert," the press service of the Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan said to Trend on 24 April.
Armenia has accused Turkey of committing genocide against 1,500 Armenians in 1915-17 during the Ottoman empire. Diplomatic relations between Armenia and Turkey have ceased with the Armenia-Turkey border closed since 1993 at the initiative of official Ankara. The Turkish government dismisses statements on the imaginary Armenian genocide and officially states that the resettlement of the Armenian population for the security in the Ottoman empire cannot be described as genocide. The Turkish Premier, Rajap Tayyib Erdogan, officially called on Armenia to study the archives of both countries and to set up joint history groups to analyze the event that took place in 1915. Armenia has not yet responded.
Armenian armed forces became more active in the contact line and fired at Azerbaijani positions on 24 April. During the last few days the Armenians have been conducting military training in the occupied Azerbaijani territory and near the contact line. "Any form of provocation will be prevented," the Ministry of Defense said.
The conflict between the two countries of the South Caucasus began in 1988 due to Armenian territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Since 1992, Armenian Armed Forces have occupied 20% of Azerbaijan including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and its seven surrounding districts. In 1994, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement at which time the active hostilities ended. The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group ( Russia, France, and the US) are currently holding peaceful negotiations.