Nagorno-Karabakh warns Azerbaijan against military solution

Associated Press Worldstream
August 7, 2004 Saturday 8:25 AM Eastern Time

Nagorno-Karabakh warns Azerbaijan against military solution

YEREVAN, Armenia

A top military official in the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave on Saturday
warned Azerbaijan against using military action to try to regain
control over the territory.

“If military activity began, Azerbaijan would suffer serious losses,”
said Movses Akopian, head of Nagorno-Karabakh’s army headquarters.

Nagorno-Karabakh, an ethnic Armenian enclave within Azerbaijan, has
been de-facto independent since its Armenian-backed forces drove out
Azerbaijan’s military in 1994. Despite a cease-fire, the two
countries continue to face off across a demilitarized zone, and
shooting occasionally erupts. No final settlement has been reached,
and the conflict continues to aggravate economic troubles and
threaten unrest in this already volatile region.

In recent months, Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliev has repeatedly
expressed frustration with the decade-long stagnation over the
enclave and has raised the prospects of military action.

“There is no point in paying any attention to threats from Baku (the
Azerbaijani capital) about a military solution to the Karabakh
problem,” Akopian said.

Earlier this week, Nagorno-Karabakh launched a 10-day military
exercise that Azerbaijan warned could further hamper peace process.