ANKARA 

For Azerbaijan to agree with a cease-fire, Armenia must withdraw its forces from occupied Azerbaijani territories, the Turkish foreign minister said Friday.

Speaking at a joint news conference with his Italian counterpart Luigi Di Maio, Mevlut Cavusoglu said Turkey stands in solidarity with Azerbaijan against its struggle for the occupied territories of Upper Karabakh.

“If the international community wants to do something about Upper Karabakh, they should get Armenia to leave Azerbaijani lands at once,” he said.

Border clashes first broke out on Sunday when Armenian forces targeted Azerbaijani civilian settlements and military positions, leading to casualties.

Azerbaijan’s parliament declared a state of war in some of its cities and regions following Armenia’s border violations and attacks in the occupied Upper Karabakh, also known as Nagorno-Karabakh.

On Monday, Azerbaijan declared partial military mobilization amid the clashes.

Upper Karabakh conflict

Relations between the two former Soviet nations have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Upper Karabakh, an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan.

Four UN Security Council and two UN General Assembly resolutions, as well as many international organizations, demand the withdrawal of the occupying forces.

The OSCE Minsk Group — co-chaired by France, Russia, and the US — was formed in 1992 to find a peaceful solution to the conflict, but to no avail. A cease-fire, however, was agreed upon in 1994.

France, Russia, and NATO, among others, have urged an immediate halt to clashes in the occupied region.

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