BAKU, Azerbaijan

The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) on Thursday sent 40 tons of food aid to Azerbaijani civilians living in areas close to the front line and affected by the attacks of Armenian forces.

The food aid consisting of ready meals and canned food will be distributed among 2,000 families living in Tartar, Aghdam, and Barda cities.

Turkey’s Ambassador in Baku Erkan Ozoral told reporters that Turkey stands by Azerbaijan through thick and thin.

Reminding that Turkey and Azerbaijan are “two states, one nation,” Ozoral said: “We fully support Azerbaijan in the fight to save its own lands. Our support is not only because we are brothers, but also because of Azerbaijan’s rightful fight. We will never leave our brothers alone.”

Upper Karabakh conflict 

Relations between the ex-Soviet republics of Azerbaijan and Armenia have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Upper Karabakh, also known as Nagorno-Karabakh.

Fresh clashes erupted on Sept. 27, and the Armenian army has since continued its attacks on civilians and Azerbaijani forces, even violating humanitarian cease-fire agreements.

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 Azerbaijani territory.

In total, about 20% of Azerbaijan’s territory – including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions – has been under Armenia’s illegal 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 sustainable new cease-fire. Turkey, meanwhile, has supported Baku’s right to self-defense and demanded the withdrawal of Armenia’s occupying forces.

*Writing by Seda Sevencan

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