Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec. 24th / Trend, K. Zarbaliyeva /
Due to upcoming parliamentary elections, the Armenian President voiced messages addressed to his domestic audience, the deputy chairman and executive secretary of the ruling New Azerbaijan Party (NAP) Ali Ahmadov told journalists, commenting on Sargsyan's statement "Armenia is ready for war."
"I believe that not only Serzh Sargsyan, but all citizens of Armenia are aware of the truth and reality. Armenia's population is decreasing very rapidly, it is impossible to live in the country. Most young people are leaving. This is the most obvious indicator of the socio-political and moral-psychological situation in Armenia in general. As for the comparison of the Azerbaijani army's power with that of Armenia, I would like to note that the amount of state budget funds allocated for the Azerbaijani army exceeds the entire budget of Armenia. I believe that this is an interesting figure in its own right, "Ahmadov said.
He said both the leadership and citizens of Armenia are afraid of the growing fighting capacity of the Azerbaijani army.
"The Azerbaijani army and Azerbaijani society have always been and are still ready to restore the territorial integrity of their country and to liberate the occupied lands. The caveat is that the Azerbaijani government and society believe that the possibilities for the peaceful settlement of the conflict without bloodshed and without war have not yet been exhausted. Such opportunities still exist. As long as they do, Azerbaijan will try to resolve the conflict peacefully. However, the unequivocal position of Azerbaijan and its society is: if it is not possible to peacefully resolve the conflict and ensure the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, the Azerbaijani people will demonstrate their will and resolutely restore the territorial integrity of their country. No one doubts this and everyone knows about this in Armenia, including Serzh Sargsyan himself, "Ahmadov said.
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 regarding the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.