|Minister of Defence|
|Preceded by||Safar Abiyev|
|Minister of Internal Affairs|
June 6, 1959
|Alma mater||Baku High Army Commanders School|
Lieutenant General Zakir Hasanov (born 6 June 1959) is an Azerbaijani politician who is the current Defence Minister, and former Internal Affairs Minister of Azerbaijan. Upon coming into office he made controversial militaristic statements in regard to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Early life and education
He was born on 6 June 1959 in the Astara District. He graduated from the Baku High Army Commanders School in 1980 before serving for five years from 1980 in the Soviet Armed Forces Units in East Germany. He spent the next eight years at the Altay Military registration and enlistment office of the Siberia Military Region as part of the ministry of defese of the USSR. Following the fall of the Soviet Union, he then served for a decade with the Border Troops of the National Ministry of Security of Azerbaijan. He was then promoted to the chief of office of international relations of the State Border Service before being appointed Deputy Minister of Interior and Commander of the Internal Troops by a presidential decree on 17 January 2003, when he was also promoted to the rank of major-general four months later.
Upon coming into office as the Minister of Defence, he made controversial militaristic statements in regard to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. This included saying that the Azeri army was strong and disciplined as opposed to that of Armenia and that "the situation in the Armenian armed forces is disastrous. In case of war the troops of this country will escape from the field of battle." He also told the European Union that his country would support liberating "its" lands peacefully but he emphasized that Azerbaijan reserves the right to liberate "its occupied lands," this came at the same time as E.U. Special Representative for the South Caucasus Philippe Lefort congratulated him on his appointment. In reaction to his appointment, the head of the Assembly of Armenians from Azerbaijan, Grigory Ayvazyan, said that there would be more provocation between Azerbaijan and Armenia. "Creating an impression of external danger, Ilham Aliyev's regime [sic] tries to reduce domestic tensions over the last shameful presidential election. Hasanov has big experience in suppressing mass protests against Aliyev's regime. Safar Abiyev was nominated yet by Heydar Aliyev and was a kind of independent figure, while the new defense minister fully depends in Aliyev junior." He also said that it was regrettable that Safar Abiyev had been replaced as he would not use military aggression against Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh due to his defeat during the Karabakh War. He also suggested Hasanov appointment could mean that the Azeri army may be used to suppress tensions within Azerbaijan.
- "Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Azerbaijan". Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan. 2008. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
|Minister of Defence