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  Thursday, October 17, 2019
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Azerbaijan has said that armed clashes with Armenia over the disputed
Azerbaijan has said that armed clashes with Armenia over the disputed Nagorny Karabakh territory could resume at any moment, an Azerbaijani Defense Ministry official said on Friday.

"We are not laying claim to any country's territory, but as long as 20% of Azerbaijani territory is occupied, Azerbaijan has the right to take steps to liberate it, and no one will be able to take issue with that," said Lt. Col Eldar Sabiroglu, head of the ministry press service, referring to Nagorny Karabakh.

He said that either international organizations would ensure the liberation of the occupied territory through peace negotiations, or Azerbaijan would do so using its own resources.

The conflict between the two former Soviet republics over Nagorny Karabakh first erupted in 1988, when the territory proclaimed independence from Azerbaijan in order to join Armenia.

30,000 people died in the subsequent conflict.

A ceasefire was announced in 1994, and Nagorny Karabakh remained in Armenian hands. However, tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia have persisted, with some 100 people having died since the ceasefire came into effect.

Moscow recently withdrew from a Soviet-era military base in Georgia, transferring military equipment and staff to Armenia, yet Azerbaijan officials and media have accused Russia of subsequently deploying these weapons in the Nagorny Karabakh conflict zone.

Russia has denied the charges.


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