Armenia ‘ready for war’ after Azerbaijan axe-killer pardon | Pakistan Today

Armenia ‘ready for war’ after Azerbaijan axe-killer pardon

Armenia warned Azerbaijan it was ready for war as tensions soared Monday between the ex-Soviet foes after Baku pardoned and promoted an Azerbaijani officer who axed an Armenian soldier to death.
Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev last week immediately pardoned Ramil Safarov after he was extradited from Hungary, where he had been serving a life sentence for the 2004 killing.
Safarov was also promoted to the rank of major, given a house and eight years’ worth of back-pay after returning home to a hero’s welcome, in defiance of assurances from Baku to Budapest that he would serve out his term in Azerbaijan.
“We don’t want a war, but if we have to, we will fight and win. We are not afraid of killers, even if they enjoy the protection of the head of state,” Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian fumed in a statement late on Sunday.
“They (Azerbaijanis) have been warned,” he said, calling Azerbaijan a country where “illicit orders set free and publicly glorify every bastard who kills people only because they are Armenians”.
Safarov hacked Armenian officer Gurgen Margarian to death at a military academy in Budapest where the servicemen were attending English-language courses organised by NATO.
His lawyers claimed in court that he was traumatised because some of his relatives had been killed during Azerbaijan’s war with Armenia, and alleged that Margarian had insulted his country.
Armenia and Azerbaijan are locked in a long-running conflict over the disputed region of Nagorny Karabakh, where they fought a war in the 1990s.



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