ANKARA

Turkey is not a party to Azerbaijan’s conflict with Armenia and is only providing moral support to Baku, Azerbaijan’s president said on Tuesday.

“Rumors being spread by Armenia that Turkey is involved in the conflict are provocative,” President Ilham Aliyev told a Russian news channel.

Rejecting Armenia’s claims that a Turkish F-16 fighter jet had downed an Armenian Su-25 aircraft, Aliyev said Turkey’s F-16 jets were “in no way involved in the conflict.”

Ankara has also denied Armenia’s claim regarding the downed jet.

Aliyev stressed that Armenia had “brutally violated” international law by invading Azerbaijani territory.

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

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 called for an immediate halt to clashes in the occupied region.

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