Azerbaijan defends right to use force against separatists

Stepanakert, the unrecognized capital of the Armenian-seized Azerbaijani region of Nagorny Karabakh, April 4, 2016. (AFP)
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Updated 07 July 2020

Azerbaijan defends right to use force against separatists

  • The two ex-Soviet republics, Azerbaijan and Armenia, have for decades been locked in a simmering conflict over the breakaway territory of Nagorny Karabakh
  • Energy-rich Azerbaijan, whose military spending exceeds Armenia’s entire state budget, has repeatedly threatened to take back the breakaway territory by force

BAKU: Azerbaijan on Tuesday raised the spectre of a fresh war with arch-foe Armenia and denounced stalled peace talks over the disputed Nagorny Karabakh region.
The two ex-Soviet republics have for decades been locked in a simmering conflict over the breakaway territory, which was at the heart of a bloody war in the 1990s.
Since the fragile 1994 cease-fire, peace talks between Baku and Yerevan have been mediated by the so-called Minsk Group of diplomats from France, Russia, and the United States.
“We are trying to be constructive and tolerant but negotiations are practically on hold today,” President Ilham Aliyev said in an interview with several TV stations.

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He said Azerbaijan would withdraw from the negotiations “if they yield no results.” He did not provide further details.
Citing the right to self-defense enshrined in the United Nations Charter, Aliyev rejected the negotiators’ premise that “there is no military solution to the conflict.”
“We have proven our case in the international arena and on the battlefield. Everyone should remember the April fighting,” he said, referring to deadly clashes in Karabakh that nearly spiralled into all-out war in 2016.
Ethnic-Armenian separatists seized Karabakh from Azerbaijan in a war that claimed 30,000 lives in the early 1990s, but the international community still views the region as part of Azerbaijan.
Energy-rich Azerbaijan, whose military spending exceeds Armenia’s entire state budget, has repeatedly threatened to take back the breakaway territory by force.
Moscow-allied Armenia has vowed to crush any military offensive.


US reaches 5 million confirmed coronavirus cases

Updated 4 min 54 sec ago

US reaches 5 million confirmed coronavirus cases

  • The bleak milestone was reached as new cases in the US run at about 54,000 a day

ROME: The confirmed number of coronavirus cases in the US reached 5 million Sunday, by far the highest in the world, according to the tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.
However, health officials believe that for every reported case, there are roughly 10 times as many people infected, given the limits on testing and the large number of mild infections that have unreported or unrecognized.
The bleak milestone was reached as new cases in the US run at about 54,000 a day. While that’s down from a peak of well over 70,000 in the second half of July, cases are rising in nearly 20 states, and deaths are climbing in most. Many Americans have resisted wearing masks and social distancing.