BAKU, Azerbaijan

The head of the Turkic Council on Tuesday expressed “unconditional” support for Azerbaijan on a visit to the city of Ganja, where civilians have been targeted multiple times by Armenian missile strikes.

Speaking at a press conference, Secretary-General Baghdad Amreyev said the Turkic Council strongly condemned the attacks on Ganja — Azerbaijan’s second-largest city which is also located far from the front line — and urged the international community denounce Armenia’s strikes on civilians.

Underlining that the body was closely following the developments in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, Amreyev said: “Turkic-speaking countries, the Turkic world and the Turkic Council unconditionally support the right of Azerbaijan to save its occupied lands.”

“This is a patriotic war for the brotherly Azerbaijani people. We stand by Azerbaijan in this war. We wish peace and victory to our friendly nation,” he said.

Amreyev conveyed the Turkic Council’s support for solving the conflict in a peaceful way based on Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and in accordance with the resolutions of the UN Security Council.

New border clashes erupted between the two ex-Soviet republics on Sept. 27, when Armenia first launched attacks on civilian settlements. Yerevan has since continued attacks on civilians and Azerbaijani forces.

Over the last 10 days, Armenia broke humanitarian cease-fires in Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Upper Karabakh, an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan.

In two attacks on Ganja, Armenian missiles killed some two dozen civilians — including children — and injured scores of others.

Last Thursday, Armenia also targeted civilians visiting a cemetery in the western city of Tartar, killing four and injuring the same amount.

A new humanitarian cease-fire entered into force on Saturday.

Four UN Security Council resolutions and two from the UN General Assembly, as well as international organizations, demand the “immediate complete and unconditional withdrawal of the occupying forces” from the occupied lands of Azerbaijan.

About 20% of Azerbaijan’s territory — including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions — has been under illegal Armenian occupation for nearly three decades.

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (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 to in 1994.

World powers, including Russia, France and the US, have called for a new cease-fire. Turkey, meanwhile, has supported Baku’s right to self-defense and demanded the withdrawal of Armenia’s occupying forces.

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