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AFP
Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliev on Monday vowed a policy of "total offensive" against neighboring Armenia during a hardline speech ahead of the presidential election this week.

"As long as our territory is under occupation, we will follow a policy of a total offensive against Armenia in the political, economic, military and transport sectors," Aliev said.

Azerbaijanis take to the polls on Wednesday to elect a new president and Aliev, the son of the country's first post-Soviet president, is the favorite since the opposition is boycotting the vote.

Nagorno-Karabakh, a mountainous territory of 150,000 inhabitants, declared independence from Azerbaijan in 1991. The conflict over Karabakh killed tens of thousands and forced a million people to leave their homes.

Armenia and Azerbaijan signed a ceasefire in 1994 but have broken off all economic and diplomatic relations pending a resolution of the province's future status. Skirmishes along the border are frequent.
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