BAKU: Aliyev: Building a Powerful Army is a Priority for Azerbaijan

Aliyev: Building up of a Powerful Army is a Priority for Azerbaijan

Baku Today

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on Wednesday said building up of a
strong army is a priority for his government and that more funds would
be allocated from the state budget for this end as the country’s
economy becomesmore powerful.

Aliyev said thanks to the successful development of Azerbaijan’s
economy, the incomes of the state budget have raised and one-thirds of
this surplus money would be spent on the army.

`This is our priority issue and Azerbaijan has a powerful army. This
army has to be stronger and it will be,’ Azertag state news agency
quoted Aliyev as saying during the opening ceremony of a new plant in

The president said Azerbaijan is the leading nation of the region in
terms of economic development. He noted that $17 billion has been
invested in the Azerbaijani economy over the past decade and that the
figure puts the country to the forefronts of not only the former
Soviet republics, but also of the countries of Europe.

President Aliyev reiterated his government’s stand on the settlement
of the 16-year-long Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over the latter’s
Nagono-Karabakh region.

`[The conflict] can be resolved only by keeping Azerbaijan’s
territorial integrity. Azerbaijan will not back down from its position
on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. This is a fair
position,’ he added.

Armenian troops invaded and took control over Nagorno-Karabakh – a
western Azeri region that was home to nearly 100,000 ethnic-Armenians,
according to 1989 census – along with seven surrounding Azerbaijani
districts in 1991-94 war.

The war killed 20,000 Azeris and expelled 700,000 from their homes in
the occupied territories. About 300,000 more Azeris fled from Armenia
and the same number of Armenians left Azerbaijan as a result of the

A cease-fire agreement reached between Armenia and Azerbaijan in 1994
is largely held, but peace-negotiations mediated by the Minsk group of
the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe has yielded no