Turkey backs ‘Steps Taken By Azerbaijan’- Erdogan
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has expressed full support for Azerbaijan’s military operation in its ethnically Armenian breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Turkey is an old ally of Azerbaijan and views Armenia as one of its main regional rivals.
“We support the steps taken by Azerbaijan with whom we act together with the motto of one nation, two States to defend its territorial integrity,” Erdogan said in an online statement.
Ankara supplied Azerbaijan with combat drones and other military equipment that helped Baku win back swaths of the breakaway region in a short but brutal war three years ago.
The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs had earlier said the new operation was sparked by “long-standing armed attacks and provocations” against Azerbaijani Forces in the region.
“As a result of the legitimate and justified concerns it has repeatedly expressed regarding the situation on the ground in the nearly three years since the end of the Second Karabakh War, Azerbaijan has had to take the measures it deems necessary on its own sovereign territory,” the Turkish Ministry said.
However, it added that only direct talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan could permanently resolve the decades-long conflict.
“We believe that ensuring the continuation of the comprehensive negotiation process between Azerbaijan and Armenia … is the only way to establish peace, security, prosperity and permanent stability in the region,” the Turkish statement said.