By Harry Tamrazian
Addressing Azerbaijani officers at the Supreme Military Academy in Baku on Saturday, President Heidar Aliyev said his country remains committed to a peaceful solution of its conflict with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh. At the same time Azeri President urged his army to be ready to restore the country's territorial integrity "at any cost." Azerbaijani news agency "Turan" reports that Heidar Aliev was speaking at a graduation ceremony for 640 Azerbaijani officers who finished a four-year NATO training program sponsored by Turkey. A visiting chief of general staff of Turkish army Huseyin Kivrikoghlu was also present at the ceremony.
Azerbaijan has been trying to solve the Karabakh conflict peacefully and it will make further efforts to find a peaceful solution, said Heidar Aliyev adding that the main principle of his foreign policy is a mutually beneficial cooperation with all neighbors. Azerbaijan has no plans to wage a war against anyone. But in order to enforce the policy of peace we need a strong army that is capable to prevent any attempts to violate the sovereignty and freedom of Azerbaijan. "You must be ready to sacrifice your lives for the freedom of your motherland", Aliyev said, addressing Azeri officers.
"Turan" reports that during a meeting in Baku with the chief of general staff of Turkish army Huseyin Kivrikoghlu On Saturday, Azerbaijan's Defense Minister Safar Abiyev accused Armenian leaders for transforming the country "into an uncontrolled weapons warehouse." Abiyev said there is a high risk of a new military conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Turkish General Kivrikoglu in his turn said that Turkey is paying a close attention to the independence and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan that could be secured by powerful military force. Kivrikoghlu said his country will continue to assist Azerbaijan to modernize its army.