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Azerbaijan Condemns Karabakh Parade


Nagorno-Karabakh - Karabakh Armenian soldiers march in a military parade in Stepanakert, 9May2012.

Nagorno-Karabakh - Karabakh Armenian soldiers march in a military parade in Stepanakert, 9May2012.

Azerbaijan on Thursday condemned as a “provocation” a high-profile military parade that was held in Nagorno-Karabakh and attended by President Serzh Sarkisian.

“Such a destructive position demonstrates that the Armenian side is not prepared to hold negotiations in a constructive manner,” the APA news agency quoted an Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesman, Elman Abdullayev, as telling journalists.

The parade, which involved scores of troops, tanks and other military hardware, was dedicated to the 20th anniversary of a key battle that greatly contributed to the Armenian victory in the 1991-1994 war for Karabakh.

Azerbaijan has similarly condemned Sarkisian’s presence at military exercises held by Karabakh’s Armenian-based armed forces. Watching such drills in late 2010, Sarkisian warned that the Armenian side will deal a “devastating and final” blow to Baku if it attempts to resolve their conflict by force.

Azerbaijani leaders threaten to forcibly win back Karabakh and Armenian-occupied territories surrounding it on a regular basis.

In a separate development, a senior aide to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev accused the West on Thursday of unjustly portraying the weekend parliamentary elections in Armenia as democratic.

“Voting in Armenia’s elections was largely a show organized by themselves,” Novruz Mammadov said, according to the Trend news agency. “Unfortunately, the West, having immediately demonstrated some [pro-Armenian] partiality, wants to present these elections as transparent and democratic.”
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