Armenia’s worry about rise of Azerbaijani military budget is good fact: first vice-speaker
Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec. 16 / Trend , A.Huseynbala/ Armenia worries about rise of the Azerbaijani military budget and it is a good fact, the first vice-speaker of the Azerbaijani Parliament said.
"It is not an unusual case and the enemy admits strengthening of Azerbaijan," Ziyafat Asgarov, the first vice-speaker of the Azerbaijani Parliament and chairman of the Permanent Commission on Security and Defense Affairs, told Trend on Dec. 16.
Recently Edvard Nalbandyan, the Armenian Foreign Minister, has said that Azerbaijan's policy on rise of military budget can lead unexpected results. Although Armenia repeatedly draw attention of the world community to Azerbaijan's increasing military budget and taking measures in this direction, most of countries, including the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), are indifferent to this step and policy, as well as violation of an international agreement by Azerbaijan, he said.
In mid-Nov., the Parliament adopted a bill to allocate more than AZN 2bln (about$2.2bln) finance to defense and security field in 2009.
Azerbaijan's defense and security expenditures made up AZN 1.5bln ($1.850bln) in 2008.
Defense and security expenditures amounted to 4.5bln from 2003 to 2008. This figure will comprise $7bln from 2003 to 2009.
It is planned to purchase new military and technical equipments in investment part of the allocated finance in defense and security field.
Gradual rise of the Azerbaijani military budget cannot hinder peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Asgarov said.
"We allocate finance as much as indicated in the budget to develop military field," the first vice-speaker said.
As to negotiations to solve the Nagorno-Karabakh problem, the first vice-speaker of the parliament said that Azerbaijan's position is gradually strengthening in line with international law and principles.
"The world community gradually realizes Azerbaijan's rightness in this matter. Therefore, Armenia's worry is understandable, because they know that both international law and justice is on the side of Azerbaijan," Asgarov said.
Armenia has occupied 20% of the Azerbaijani territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and its seven surrounding regions. The conflict between the two countries of the South Caucasus began in 1988 due to Armenian territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan lost the Nagorno-Karabakh, except of Shusha and Khojali, in December 1991. In 1992-93, Armenian Armed Forces occupied Shusha, Khojali and Nagorno-Karabakh's seven surrounding regions. In 1994, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement at which time the active hostilities ended. The countries keep on peace negotiating. OSCE Minsk Group co-chaired by USA, Russia, and France is engaged in peace settling of the conflict.
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