Azerbaijan staged its first military parade in 16 years Thursday to mark the anniversary of the founding of the country's
Tanks and armored personnel carriers rolled
through the streets of Baku as military aircraft flew overhead in what
news agencies described as a show of force aimed partly at neighboring
Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev told participants
the Azerbaijani people are tired of negotiations with Armenia over the
breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. He said the talks
cannot go on forever.
Mr. Aliyev said Azerbaijan continues to live in a state of war due to the unresolved conflict.
Azerbaijani leader said the country's annual defense spending has risen
to more than $2 billion, 10 times what it was in 2003, and
will continue to increase.
The two countries
fought a six-year conflict after residents of the
largely-Armenian-inhabited Nagorno-Karabakh region declared
independence in 1988. A 1994 cease-fire halted the most serious
fighting, though sporadic exchanges of gunfire continue. The conflict
has claimed 35,000 lives.
Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.