BAKU (AP/Baku Today)–Meeting on October 24 with the Commander-in-Chief of Turkish Ground Forces Aytaj Yalman–Azerbaijan’s president-elect Ilham Aliyev indicated that the country may turn to military pressure in the unresolved dispute with Armenia over Mountainous Karabagh. He said that though Azerbaijan is seeking to resolve the conflict peacefully–bilateral negotiations and efforts put forth by OSCE Minsk Group have not produced results. "We–are therefore–exploring other means; I am sure that strengthening the Azerbaijani army can have a positive influence on the negotiating process. . . Azerbaijan’s army today is capable of fulfilling any task placed before it," he told Yalman.
Aliyev stressed that Azeris would never agree to the occupation of its lands–"We must liberate our lands at any cost. Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity must be recovered–and over 1 million refugees must return to motherland."
In turn–Yalman’said that "Turkey considers this problem as its own."
During an October 23 meeting with Azerbaijan’s Colonel-General Safar Abiyev–Yalman echoed the same sentimen’s–adding "We are concerned the world does not recognize Armenia as an aggressor. Armenia exploits the problem of genocide as counter propaganda against Turkey and Azerbaijan."
"We are one nation–but two states," he noted–adding that Turkey’s problems is Azerbaijan’s problems and vice versa; thus a resolution to the Karabagh conflict is Turkey’s problem–too. "Turkey has always supported Azerbaijan materially and morally and will do it in the future. Our unity is the unity of our hearts."
Aliyev–the current prime minister was elected president last week in an election widely criticized by international observers.