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Azerbaijan poised to restore its territorial integrity — ambassador to Russia

According to the diplomat, 27 Azerbaijani civilians were killed and 141 injured as a result of the ongoing hostilities

MOSCOW, October 7. /TASS/. Baku is firmly determined to restore control over Nagorno-Karabakh, the region acknowledged by the global community as Azerbaijan’s territory, the country’s Ambassador to Russia Polad Bulbuloglu has told TASS in an interview.

"A counter-terrorism operation, which can also be described as an effort to pacify Armenia by force, is under way at Azerbaijan’s territories occupied by the armed forces of Armenia. In essence, it is a patriotic war for the liberation of our ancestral land, recognized as Azerbaijan’s territory by the entire global community," the diplomat said. "We have already managed to liberate some of the occupied territories, our military successes continue. We are firmly determined to restore our territorial integrity."

The ambassador said that as of early October 6, a total of 27 Azerbaijani civilians were killed and 141 injured as a result of the ongoing hostilities.

"Due to military defeats, the leadership of Armenia is compelled to make hasty and erroneous decisions, to commit military crimes. And the individuals who make such orders musts be brought to international justice," he said.

In his words, Yerevan is trying to force Baku to deliver a proportionate strike on the territory of Armennia, "due to which, in Armenia’s opinion, third parties will step into the conflict, and the collective security mechanism, to which Armenia is a party, will be triggered."

"At present, the military command and the political leadership of Armenia bear full responsibility for those events," the diplomat said.

Renewed clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia erupted on September 27, with intense battles raging in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The area experienced flare-ups of violence in the summer of 2014, in April 2016 and this past July. Azerbaijan and Armenia have imposed martial law and launched mobilization efforts. Both parties to the conflict have reported casualties, among them civilians.

The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the highland region of Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory that had been part of Azerbaijan before the Soviet Union break-up, but primarily populated by ethnic Armenians, broke out in February 1988 after the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic.

In 1992-1994, tensions boiled over and exploded into large-scale military action for control over the enclave and seven adjacent territories after Azerbaijan lost control of them. Talks on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement have been ongoing since 1992 under the OSCE Minsk Group, led by its three co-chairs - Russia, France and the United States.