28 June 2011

War in Central Asia?

Are the Azeris and Armenians about to come to blows?

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 and Armenia, who fought a war over Nagorno-Karabakh that killed about 30,000 on both sides, concluded a ceasefire in 1994. Attempts by the United States, Russia and France to reconcile the two post-Soviet foes have fallen short.
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.

By: Brant

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