Azerbaijan says it has "the full right" to resort to military action in order to liberate the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which it lost to Armenia in the 1990s.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said on Friday that if an upcoming meeting with his Armenian counterpart ends short of a deal on the matter "then our hopes in negotiations will be exhausted and then we are left with no other option" than to reclaim the territory by force, the Reuters news agency reported.
"We are doing that because we never excluded and we do not exclude that option. We have the full right to liberate our land by military means," he added.
Azerbaijan lost control over the region in a rebellion by local Armenians, who were supported by Yerevan's military. The conflict killed tens of thousands of people rendering more than a million others homeless.
"That meeting must play a decisive role in the process of negotiations," the Azerbaijani president noted as he was preparing to attend talks with Armenia's Serzh Sargsyan in Munich on Sunday.
The international community has refused to recognize the de facto rule of the ensuing Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.
Azerbaijan threatens Armenia with 'military force'