A military parade marking the 95th anniversary of Armed Forces of Azerbaijan was held this morning in Baku.
The President of Azerbaijan Republic, Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Ilham Aliyev also attended the parade and took the salute.
The parade involved more than 5,000 personnel from various units of the Azerbaijan Armed Forces. Over 300 pieces of military equipment, more than 100 combat aircraft and helicopters, as well as more than 40 Navy warships of Azerbaijan also participated in the parade. T-90S tanks and anti-aircraft missile system "Buk" took part in the parade for the first time.
Earlier in an address to the nation, President Ilham Aliev said that Azerbaijan will spend $3.7 billion on defence and military expenditure this year. He reminded that this was nearly twice the total annual budget of Armenia. Aliev added,
"Strong Azerbaijan can speak with weak Armenia in any language. For the moment, we just prefer the way of negotiations to maintain stability in the region. Azerbaijan is a stabilizing country in the region. No initiative, no project can be carried out in the region without the consent of Azerbaijan. Therefore, in order to maintain stability and to solve the issue peacefully, we still prefer the political way. But it is no secret that Azerbaijan is strengthening day by day, while Armenia is weakening day by day. Our economic power has increased incomparably. We prevail over the enemy in any direction by several times and in some directions by more than 10 times and this difference will grow gradually, because we have a clear future, prospects and way of development."
source: commonspace.eu with 1news.az and APA news agency
photo: Units of the Azerbaijani Army on parade in Baku on 26 June 2013 (picture courtesy of Trend News Agency).
During the meeting, issues related to relations between Armenia and the European Union, and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict were discussed