The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk group — the US, Russia, France — stand by Armenia and provide “all kind of weapon support,” the Turkish president said on Sunday.
“What happened in Iraq, Syria, even in the Balkans in the past, and now in Libya and Karabakh has shown us how discrimination, secessionism and pursuit of small gains have brought nothing but blood and tears,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan said speaking at a provincial congress meeting of his ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party in the southeastern Sirnak province.
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group was formed in 1992 to find a peaceful solution to the Upper Karabakh conflict, but to no avail.
“Our Azerbaijani brothers are currently in a very serious struggle against Armenia. Why are they fighting this struggle? Because they are fighting to liberate Azerbaijan’s occupied lands from the Armenians,” he said, adding: “What can be more natural than that?”
Erdogan stressed that the the US, Russia and France “have not finished these negotiations” for 30 years, and have not provided the lands of Azerbaijani people to them.
“Now, Azerbaijani brothers are struggling to liberate the occupied territories. May Allah help them. I believe that they will take back and liberate the occupied lands from Armenians. And we pray for them. Hope they will get it successfully,” he said.
Clashes erupted between the Azerbaijan and Armenia on Sept. 27 and Armenia has since continued its attacks on civilians and Azerbaijani forces, even violating humanitarian cease-fire agreements since last week.
A new cease-fire – the second since hostilities around Upper Karabakh, or Nagorno-Karabakh, began on Sept. 27 – was announced on Saturday and only went into effect at 12 midnight (2000GMT).
The second cease-fire was reached between Baku and Yerevan after the previous Oct. 10 humanitarian cease-fire – meant to allow an exchange of prisoners and the recovery of dead bodies – was breached hours later by Armenian missile attacks on Azerbaijan’s city of Ganja, killing 10 people and injuring 35.
Upper Karabakh conflict
Relations between the two former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Upper Karabakh, or Nagorno-Karabakh, an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan.
Some 20% of Azerbaijan’s territory has remained under illegal Armenian occupation for nearly three decades.
A cease-fire was first agreed to in 1994.
Multiple UN resolutions, as well as international organizations, demand the withdrawal of the occupying forces.
World powers, including Russia, France, and the US, have called for a cessation of hostilities. Turkey, meanwhile, has supported Baku’s right to self-defense and demanded the withdrawal of Armenia’s occupying forces.
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