Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev vowed Wednesday to “stand with Turkey under any circumstances without any hesitation,” state news agency Azertac reported.
Aliyev made the comments as he accepted credentials of the newly appointed Greece’s ambassador to Azerbaijan, Nikolaos Piperigos, at an event in the capital Baku.
“I can tell you, and it is no secret, that Turkey is not only our friend and partner, but also a brotherly country for us. Without any hesitation whatsoever, we support Turkey and will support it under any circumstances,” the Azerbaijani leader told Piperigos.
Speaking on the recent tensions between Turkey and Greece in the Eastern Mediterranean, Aliyev said: “We support them [Turkey] on all issues, including the issue of intelligence in the Eastern Mediterranean.”
Tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean have heightened as Greece seeks to block Turkey’s exploration of energy resources in the region, which Ankara says is well within its rights.
Greece has attempted to illegally restrict Turkey’s maritime territory, trying to box it into its shores based on small Greek islands near the Turkish coast.
Turkey has argued the sides should instead sit down for dialogue to reach a win-win solution based on fair sharing.
Greece has also recently carried out military drills — including with France — meant to intimidate Turkey into stopping energy exploration, as well as illegally armed Aegean islands, in violation of longstanding peace treaties.
Athens’ recent maritime delimitation agreement with Egypt also violates Turkey’s continental shelf and maritime rights, sparking further tensions between the two neighbors.
Upper Karabakh conflict
Aliyev also briefed the envoy about the Armenia-Azerbaijan Upper Karabakh, or Nagorno Karabakh conflict, adding that Armenia along with other crimes committed a genocide against Azerbaijani people, made homeless a million of Azerbaijanis, and committed a policy of ethnic cleansing in the occupied territories, as well as violated the international law.
He expressed concern about the military cooperation between Armenia, Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration.
Border skirmishes between Armenia and Azerbaijan this July left a dozen Azerbaijani soldiers dead, further escalating tensions between the arch rivals.
Since 1991, the Armenian military has illegally occupied the Upper Karabakh region, an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan.
Four UN Security Council and two UN General Assembly resolutions, as well as decisions by many international organizations, refer to this fact and demand the withdrawal of the occupational Armenian forces from Upper Karabakh and seven other occupied regions of Azerbaijan.
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