BAKU (News.az)–The recent Azerbaijani attack on a security outpost in Karabakh that left four Armenian soldiers dead is a “message to the entire world” that such attacks will continue until Baku regains control over Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov warned on Wednesday.
Mammadyarov’s remarks come less than a week after Azeri forces on June 18 launched an attack on positions in Mardakert, killing four Karabakh soldiers and wounding as many one day after an Armenian and Azeri presidential summit on Nagorno-Karabakh in St. Petersburg, mediated by Russia. The skirmishes continued throughout the weekend, with Azeri forces violated the cease fire regime some 284 times.
The incident occurred amid heightened tension in the region as Official Baku, frustrated with the Karabakh peace process, steps up its threats to invade the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.
“Some, including Armenia, accuse Azerbaijan of bellicose rhetoric, but this rhetoric will not end before the settlement of the conflict,” Mammadyarov told a joint press conference with Austrian counterpart Michael Spindelegger in Baku on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Azerbaijan’s president, Ilham Aliyev, on Wednesday told an annual session of the Islamic Development Bank that he expected to gain control over Karabakh soon.
The fledgling state, sandwiched between Armenia and Azerbaijan, declared its independence from the crumbling Soviet Union in 1991. The move, hailed as the Soviet Union’s first genuine democratic movement, was met with violence as Azerbaijan invaded the young republic, sparking a devastating war that lasted until 1994.
The region, a historic province of Armenia, was placed under the jurisdiction of the Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan in the 1920s as part of a deal between Russia and Turkey that paved the way for the Sovietization of the Caucasus.
Despite that, Aliyev maintained that “Karabakh is ancient Azerbaijani land” and added that he did” not doubt that it would be liberated.”