BAKU (AFP) — Azerbaijan paraded thousands of soldiers and hundreds of military vehicles through its capital on Sunday, in a show of force two days after talks failed to resolve a bitter territorial dispute with Armenia.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, who has overseen massive increases in defense spending, warned in his speech that he was ready to take back Nagorno Karabagh, which was seized from Azerbaijan in the 1990s by Armenian separatist forces.
“The war is not over yet,” Aliyev said at the showpiece parade in the center of Baku, vowing to end what he called the “occupation” of Karabagh.
“The territorial integrity of Azerbaijan must be restored and the territory will be restored,” he said.
Six thousand troops marched in the parade, accompanied by tanks, armored
cars and rocket launchers, as fighter planes and combat helicopters roared overhead and warships lined up in the nearby Caspian Sea bay.