World Bulletin/News Desk
Armenian President Serzh Sarksyan accused Azerbaijan on Friday of threatening a new war over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh disputed by the south Caucasus neighbours.
Azerbaijan is accumulating a "horrendous quantity" of arms in preparation for a resumption of fighting, Sarksyan, 58, told Reuters in an interview. He said Armenia wanted a negotiated settlement to the conflict and that he would spare no effort to achieve it.
Armenia have controlled Nagorno-Karabakh, a mountainous enclave within Azerbaijan, since a war in the early 1990s that killed about 30,000 people and ended in a ceasefire in 1994.
"Now 18 years after the signing of this ceasefire agreement, Azerbaijan threatens us with a new war," Sarksyan said in the Armenian capital, Yerevan.
Sporadic fighting has intensified on what is known as the line of conflict around Nagorno-Karabakh, highlighting the risk of a war in a region where Turkey, Russia and Iran all have interests.
"When I say that there is hatred towards Armenians, a general xenophobia in Azerbaijan; when I say there is a dangerous accumulation of armaments in Azerbaijan; when I say Azerbaijan is getting prepared for resuming military hostilities and settling the conflict by military means, that doesn't mean at all that there is no need to continue with negotiations," Sarksyan said, speaking through an interpreter.
Tension between the two countries has risen since Hungary sent home to Azerbaijan an Azeri officer convicted of killing an Armenian officer on a NATO language training course in Budapest.
Azeri President Ilham Aliyev pardoned the killer on his return to a hero's welcome in August. He was also promoted.
Azerbaijan says Aliyev acted in line with the law and rejected international criticism over the affair.
Sarksyan said the pardon of the Azeri officer, Ramil Safarov, showed Nagorno-Karabakh - a region of about 160,000 people which is linked to Armenia by a narrow corridor through Azerbaijan's territory - could not be part of Azerbaijan.
"It again reconfirms our view that the people of Nagorno-Karabakh have no future in the framework of Azerbaijan."
"We have no doubt that Azerbaijan's aim is to change the situation by the application of its military means and the only preventative mechanism for their desires is the combat-readiness of the Armenian armed forces," Sarksyan said.
Both Armenia and Azerbaijan have more powerful weapons than 20 years ago and war could spread if pipelines carrying Azeri oil and gas to Europe via Turkey, or Armenia's nuclear power station, were hit.
Armenia has a collective security agreement with Russia while Azerbaijan has one with Turkey.
Russia, France and the United States have led years of mediation under the auspices of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe but direct contacts between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the issue have stopped since the Azeri officer's pardon.
Sarksyan called on the international community to take "concrete steps" in the search for a settlement.
He said Azerbaijan was in violation of a European treaty limiting holdings of weaponry. Inspectors were aware of the situation "and there is zero action on this".
Sarksyan, elected in 2008, said he would stand for re-election next year. Asked if he was confident he would see a solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute, he said: "I'm confident.
"At least I hope that I will never see Nagorno-Karabakh incorporated in the Azerbaijani framework again and that in itself is a huge success," he said.
The 42-year-old, known as the Iron Lady of Manipur, began her fast in November 2000 after 10 people were killed in a shooting at a bus stop near her home in Manipur
Israeli aircraft have carried out 80 strikes in the Gaza Strip, killing 19 people including children
Military equipment such as helmets and security vests would be sent immediately, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said
Ten people were missing after a month's worth of rain fell overnight, loosening slopes already saturated by heavy rain over the past few weeks.
Matthew Rosenberg ran a story about ministry and palace officials discussing plans to form an interim government if an election deadlock continues
Interior Ministry said nine pro-Ukrainian volunteer fighters, supporting Kiev's forces, were killed in the fighting in Ilovaisk, which lies part way along the road from Donetsk
Four of the homes that were demolished by Israeli occupation forces were built 100 years ago.
Crowd were angry because they ordered to leave a neighbourhood placed under quarantine because of the Ebola virus.
Charles “Chuck” Murray said “The KKK has raised funds. We have already raised nearly $1,200.”
Qadri and Imran Khan are trying to force Sharif to resign over allegations of election rigging and corruption. Their supporters broke through police barricades to surround parliament.
Hollande did not say when such a meeting could be held or who would be invited but said a global strategy was needed to combat the insurgents, according to remarks published in Le Monde newspaper.
The Greek Cypriot administration has indicated that it will not prevent Britain from using the Akrotiri air base if it decides to use them in possible operations against rebels in Iraq.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai urged national unity and accused neighboring Pakistan of interfering in Afghan affairs.
"We would like to give notice to all respondents for tomorrow," Chief Justice Nasir ul-Mulk said in response to a petition filed against Khan and Qadri
The aftermath of the Brown shooting was due to take a new turn, when the St. Louis County prosecutor's office said it expected to begin presenting evidence to a grand jury investigating the case.
Mayor appeals to residents to stay calm amid reports of further security threats month before anniversary of siege that left nearly 200 dead.