Azerbaijan puts off joint military drills with US

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Associated Press

Posted on April 20, 2010 at 8:35 AM

BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry says the ex-Soviet nation has decided to postpone next month's joint military exercise with the United States.

Ministry spokesman Eldar Sabiroglu refused to specify a reason for the move late Monday, but other Azerbaijani officials have recently expressed dismay with the U.S. stance on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Nagorno-Karabakh is a part of Azerbaijan that has been under the control of Armenian troops and ethnic Armenian forces since a 1994 cease-fire ended six years of war.

Last week, an Azerbaijani presidential aide said the U.S. is biased against the country in its role as a mediator of the dispute. The remarks suggested an unprecedented strain in the energy-rich Caspian nation's ties with the U.S.

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