KONYA, Turkey

Turkey’s president on Friday vowed to continue the struggle for Azerbaijan’s territory of Upper Karabakh until it is freed from Armenian occupation.

As tensions run high amid a recent flare-up in the conflict between Baku and Yerevan, Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated Turkey’s full support for Azerbaijan during a speech at the inauguration of a city hospital in the central Turkish province of Konya.

The eruption of crisis zones in areas adjacent to Turkey from Syria to the Mediterranean to the Caucasus points to attempts to hold Turkey under siege, Erdogan added.

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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