TODAY.AZ / Politics

Azerbaijan strengthens defence capability

08 February 2014 [11:42] - TODAY.AZ
By AzerNews

Azerbaijani Defense Minister, Colonel-General Zakir Hasanov, has given instructions on improving the country's defense capability and increasing combat effectiveness of troops.

At a meeting in one of the military units located in the frontline, reforms which have been carried out in the armed forces, the preparedness of the defense system and logistic supports, as well as a number of service issues were discussed.

Furthermore, the meeting focused on the reports of commanders and officials. Vice defense ministers, commanders of military units and branches of the armed forces, heads of the ministry's main administrations, departments and independent services, commanders and chiefs of staff attended the meeting.

The situation remains tense on the contact line of Armenian and Azerbaijani troops since early 2014. The ceasefire was violated over 2,000 times from January 21 until now. In all cases, the shooting was countered by return fire.

The Armenian troops shot dead Captain Elnur Jafarov, Lieutenant Sabuhi Azizov and officer Eshgin Guliyev amid the growing tension along the contact line between Armenian and Azerbaijan troops.

Earlier this week, the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs issued a statement over the recent escalation on the line of contact and called on the sides to exercise restraint.

"The two sides stated their intention to strengthen observance of the ceasefire and avoid further escalation, particularly in light of the upcoming Olympic Games in Sochi," the statement reads.

Armenia occupied over 20 percent of Azerbaijan's internationally recognized territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions, after laying territorial claims against its South Caucasus neighbor that caused a brutal war in the early 1990s.

The UN Security Council's four resolutions on Armenian withdrawal have not been enforced to this day.

Peace talks, mediated by Russia, France and the US and the OSCE Minsk Group are underway on the basis of a peaceful outline -called Madrid Principle -proposed by the Minsk Group co-chairs. The negotiations have been largely fruitless so far.

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