Erdogan backed Azerbaijan’s military operation in Karabakh

Turkey considers Azerbaijan’s decision to launch an “anti-terrorist operation” in Nagorno-Karabakh justified because these actions are “aimed at protecting territorial integrity”, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told the UN General Assembly.

“Karabakh is the territory of Azerbaijan. And imposing a different status on it is unacceptable. We support the steps taken by Azerbaijan and march together under the slogan ‘one nation, two states’ in defense of its territorial integrity”, Erdogan said (quoted by Hurriyet).

He said Turkey supported the negotiation process between Azerbaijan and Armenia on Karabakh from the very beginning, but Yerevan “did not take advantage of this historic opportunity”. “We hope that a comprehensive peace agreement will be signed between the two countries, that all promises will be fulfilled and communication corridors will be opened”, Erdogan said.

The Turkish president called the opening of the Zangezur corridor, which, according to Baku’s plan, would connect Azerbaijan with its exclave, the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, one of such promises. The Armenian Foreign Ministry noted that its creation is not envisaged by trilateral agreements with Russia’s participation.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said that Baku was forced to launch an “operation” in Karabakh because “illegitimate Armenian armed formations” in the region “have been staging armed attacks and provocations” against Azerbaijani military and security forces for years.

On Tuesday, Azerbaijan announced “anti-terrorist measures of local character” and began shelling the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, including Stepanakert. According to the ombudsman of the unrecognized republic, 25 people were killed and 138 wounded as a result.

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