Azerbaijani FM condemns Armenia for arming beyond its commitments (UPDATE)
The details were added (the first version was posted at 12:13 p.m.)
Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 11 / Trend, M. Aliyev /
Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry condemns Armenia for arming beyond its commitments.
At present, the Armenian Armed Forces have 48,884 personnel and 45,000 in Nagorno-Karabakh. In all, there are 93,000 people. According to commitments made in 1992, the Azerbaijani Armed Forces have 70,000 personnel, the second secretary of the Security Problems Office of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Elchin Huseynli said at the opening of the international conference "Establishing relations across borders" in Baku on Tuesday. It was organized by the GUAM PA and the Baltic Assembly.
Huseynli said that Azerbaijan uses the purchased weapons to protect its energy infrastructure.
Huseynli stressed that Armenia accuses Azerbaijan of substantial arming and violating the balance of power in the region. He added that Armenia is being armed much more intensively.
"Armenia purchased 16,000 Kalashnikov rifles last year and 78,000 the year before last. "Armenia prepares for war, rather than peace."
He said that Latvian company "Latspeceksports" is involved in the sale of weapons to Armenia. Appealing to the parliamentarians of the Baltic Assembly member-states, Huseynli called on them to investigate this issue.
Talking about the negotiations on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Huseynli stressed that Armenia has moved away from its positions at the talks, which have been held for many years.
"The co-chairing countries turn a blind eye to it, the norms and principles of the international law," he said.
He stressed that Armenia makes illegal actions in the Azerbaijani occupied territories.
"Armenia holds the fictitious elections in the occupied territory, destroying Azerbaijan's historical and cultural monuments," he said. "The attempts are made to attract the companies from the Minsk Group co-chairing countries to cooperate in these areas. Baku will never allow this."
He said that the relations between Armenia and Russia are the cause of instability in the region.
"Armenia is the smallest country in the region," he said. "It has important military and political agreements with Russia now. Regional conflicts seriously hinder the development of the region. If these conflicts are resolved, the South Caucasus will become an economically developed region. Azerbaijan's position is well known. The joint projects are out of the question till the conflicts are resolved."
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and 7 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 the 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.