(Reuters) - Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, speaking during the biggest military parade in Baku since the fall of the Soviet Union, promised to boost army spending and gain control of the territories disputed with Armenia.
"I am completely sure that our territorial integrity will be resumed in any possible way," Aliyev was shown on state television as saying at the parade to mark armed forces day. "Therefore, we should be even stronger."
Azerbaijan -- military parade in Baku to mark 93rd anniversary of Armed Forces, 26Jun2011
Aliyev said that his country will boost military spending to $3.3 billion this year, up from $2.15 a year ago and just $160 million in 2003.
Troops marched across Liberty square in central Baku, along with convoys of infantry combat vehicles and Russia-made S-300 self-propelled anti-aircraft missile launchers. Warplanes, helicopters and drones cruised over the city, as TV aired footage of battleships on duty off the Azeri Caspian coast.
Last month the United States, Russia and France passed a joint statement during a G8 summit in French Deauville urging Azerbaijan and Armenia to pave way to peace. Baku and Yerevan failed to agree on a framework document to set the stage for a resolution of their conflict during a meeting hosted by President Dmitry Medvedev in the Russian city
of Kazan last Friday.
"Nagorno-Karabakh is a native Azerbaijani land, this is the way it always was, but it is temporarily under occupation, which cannot last forever," Aliyev said, adding that Baku will continue diplomatic efforts.