Armenia’s attacks on civilian settlements in Azerbaijan are not only a “crime against humanity” but also “a sign of the desperation” that the country fell into, said Turkey’s foreign minister on Tuesday. 

“We will [continue to] support the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, just as we did with Georgia, Ukraine, Syria, and Iraq’s territorial integrity,” Mevlut Cavusoglu told a joint press conference with his Azerbaijani counterpart in Baku, Azerbaijan’s capital.

Cavusoglu also criticized the Minsk Group’s neutral stance on the conflict, saying that victimized Azerbaijan cannot be considered the same as Armenia, which is the occupying country.

Calling on the international community to also support Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, he stressed that Turkey’s “sister nation Azerbaijan is showing that there cannot be, should not be any double standards of this matter either in the field or in negotiations.” 

Separately, Azerbaijan Foreign Minister Ceyhun Bayramov also criticized Armenia, saying it has “a terrorist mentality” with no scruples over achieving its goals.

The ongoing clashes began on Sept. 27, when Armenian forces targeted civilian Azerbaijani settlements and military positions in the region, leading to casualties.

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

Multiple UN resolutions, as well as many international organizations, demand the withdrawal of the invading 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 reached in 1994.

Many world powers, including Russia, France, and the US, have urged an immediate cease-fire. Turkey, meanwhile, has supported Baku’s right to self-defense.

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