Azerbaijani people honors, respects soldiers

By: Mushvig Mehdiyev

Azerbaijanis honor and respect heroic army and the courage of soldiers, all those, either private or officers who have dedicated their lives, arms and blood to the defense of the motherland, said a top Azerbaijani military official.

In an appeal to the servicemen which were called up for compulsory military service and transferred to the reserve, Azerbaijani Defense Minister, Zakir Hasanov said, today Azerbaijani soldiers proudly defend their homeland and give a fitting rebuff to the Armenian invaders on the frontline.

Hasanov added the conscripts must know that there is no an easy service for soldiers since military life is fraught with difficulties and challenges.

Despite those hardships, the minister said, each soldier, showing dignity in his duty, will confidently and successfully pass this tough way, gain the love and respect of the people, and the country’s leadership.

Referring to President Ilham Aliyev’s address on the occasion of Novruz holiday on March 19, Hasanov added that the Supreme Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces appreciate highly our soldiers’ dignity in protecting the homeland.

President Aliyev said the modern Azerbaijani army was among the most advanced forces across the world in terms of preparedness, technical equipment and weapons.

Under the order of the president dated March 2, 2015, the Azerbaijani defense announced the next stage of conscription to start on April 1.

The US-based Global Firepower survey center has put the Azerbaijani army at the 50th place among 106 countries in the list of the world’s strongest armies.

The 2015 report notes that Azerbaijan can call upon hundreds of thousands of reserves. Moreover, the country has an impressive military arsenal — Azerbaijan possesses 544 tanks, 125 aircrafts, 79 helicopters, 47 naval vehicles.

Azerbaijan left behind the CIS and regional countries, including Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, as well as other countries such as Romania, Portugal, Hungary, Colombia and Greece to take its place among the first 50 strongest militaries in the world.

The expanding military budget of Azerbaijan has lifted it to top position among its neighbors in the South Caucasus. The country’s military budget for 2015 is $5 billion, which is considerably more than last year’s $3.8 billion military expenditures.

In his address in one of the military units earlier in February, Hasanov said the strengthening of the armed forces is one of Azerbaijan’s key priorities.

Azerbaijan, which lost 20 percent of its territory to Armenian military occupation in the 1990s has boosted its military in view of liberating its lands.

Armenia has so far ignored calls from the international community to withdraw from the Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions, which regions have been recognized to belong to Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan however has shown exemplary tolerance and commitment towards peace, especially in the light of ongoing Armenian acts of sabotage. That being said Azerbaijan reserves the right to military measures against Armenia should it needs to.

SOURCE: Azer News