BAKU — 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 Nagorno Karabakh.
“The war is not over yet,” Aliyev said at the showpiece parade in the centre of Baku, vowing to end what he called the “occupation” of Karabakh.
“The territorial integrity of Azerbaijan must be restored and the territory will be restored,” he said.
In his speech, Aliyev also spoke approvingly about the increases in defence spending financed by the energy-rich state’s huge revenues from oil and gas exports.
“Azerbaijan has fulfilled the task that I set, which was that Azerbaijan’s military expenditure must exceed the entire state budget of Armenia,” he said, noting that defence spending reached $3.3 billion this year.
The demonstrative nature of Aliyev’s statement is in the fact that it was voiced right after the Kazan meeting, that is after the co-chairs stressed once again that a diplomatic settlement is the only acceptable settlement of the issue and has no alternative. The Azerbaijani president’s statement, hence, became a sort of demarche.

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