Azerbaijan's defense minister says the international community should force Armenia to withdraw troops from the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, or face possible renewed military action.

Defense Minister Safar Abiyev made his comments as he met with visiting U.S. General Charles Wald, the deputy commander of American forces in Europe. Abiyev insisted that Armenia must give up the disputed territory, warning that failure to do so could otherwise lead to new hostilities.

Armenia and Azerbaijan are bitterly divided over the predominantly Armenian-inhabited enclave, which declared independence from Azerbaijan in 1988. The subsequent six-year conflict claimed 35,000 lives.

A cease-fire has held since 1994, but Nagorno-Karabakh's final status has not been resolved.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.