YEREVAN, August 4. / ARKA /. Nagorno-Karabakh defense minister Movses Hakobyan has warned Azerbaijani military leaders against fresh attempts to escalate tension on the line of contact saying it may lose as a result new swathes of land.
“Borders of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic may change only at the expense of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity,’ he said during a televised interview.
"After the latest botched attempts by Azerbaijani troops to attack our positions which claimed the lives of at least 25 Azeri servicemen, the people of Azerbaijan should realize the consequences of their authorities’ adventurous behavior. The death toll on the Azerbaijani will only rise, but the borders of Nagorno-Karabakh will not change. If they change that will be at the expense of the territorial integrity of
Azerbaijan ", Hakobyan said.
The minister said that despite billions of USD spent by Baku on acquisition of modern weapons the military operations of the Azerbaijani army are as unplanned and senseless as they were back in 1992-1994.
The clashes between Armenian and Azerbaijani troops have caused serious concern of the United States and Russia, which urged both sides to seek a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
“There can be no military solution to the conflict. Retaliation and further violence will only make it more difficult to bring about a peaceful settlement,” Marie Harf, a spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department, said late on Friday.
“The United States urges the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan to meet at the earliest opportunity to resume dialogue on key issues,” Harf stressed in a statement.
The Russian Foreign Ministry also reacted to the escalation of tension. “We view the events of recent days as a serious violation of ceasefire agreements and stated intentions to achieve a political settlement,” a ministry spokeswoman, M. V. Zakharova, said in statement.
“We believe that a further escalation is inadmissible,” Zakharova said. “We call on all conflicting parties to show restrain, renounce the use of force and take immediate measures to stabilize the situation.” -0-