The Armenian president has called on world powers to step up pressure on Azerbaijan to prevent what he called an all-out war over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.
President Serzh Sarkisian, who was preparing to meet French President Francois Hollande in Paris on Wednesday, urged France, Russia, and the United States to “show what price one of the sides will pay if it initiates an attack.”
“That will have a sobering effect,” he said, adding, “The danger of a new war is constant and will persist until Azerbaijan is persuaded that there is no military solution to the conflict.”
Sarkisian accused his Azerbaijani counterpart, Ilham Aliyev, of sabotaging any progress aimed at the resolution of the dispute through military blackmail. “He (Aliyev) said Azerbaijan will not start a war if Armenia fulfills its demands. I said that this is blackmail, not a compromise.”
Azerbaijan and Armenia, both former Soviet states, have been locked in the territorial dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh for more than 20 years. The region is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but has been under the control of local ethnic Armenian militia and Armenian troops since a three-year war that ended on May 12, 1994. The war claimed over 30,000 lives.