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Turkey: Party head calls for democracy in Armenia

Turkey: Party head calls for democracy in Armenia
Armenia should keep its distance from coups, stay with democracy, says chief of Turkey's Nationalist Movement Party

By Emin Avundukluoglu

ANKARA (AA) - The leader of a major party in Turkey called for democracy and common sense in Armenia on Tuesday.

"Even if the subject is Armenia, we want democracy to prevail. We insistently recommend common and good sense," Devlet Bahceli, the leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), told his party's parliamentary group.

Bahceli urged Armenia to steer clear of coups and stay with democracy.

Chief of General Staff Onik Gasparyan, along with other senior commanders, released a statement last week calling for Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan's resignation.

Pashinyan blasted the military's call as a coup attempt and urged his supporters to take to the streets to resist.

He later announced Gasparyan’s dismissal on Facebook.

The unrest follows the end of a military conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan last fall which was widely seen as a victory for the latter.

Relations between the two former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Upper Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.

During the six week-conflict, which ended with a Russian-brokered truce, Azerbaijan liberated several strategic cities and nearly 300 of its settlements and villages from Armenian occupation.

Before this, about 20% of Azerbaijan's territory had been under illegal Armenian occupation for nearly three decades.


- S-400 missile defense systems

MHP chief Bahceli also said Turkey should respond according to its own interests to US calls not to use Russian-made S-400 missile defense systems it had purchased.

Underlining that Ankara should not hesitate to use the S-400 systems if faced with a threat, he said: "In our opinion, Ankara's criteria should be valid for the S-400s, not the formulas served by others.

"Moreover, we did not bear all the costs to relegate these weapons to rust in warehouses," he added

Last December, the US imposed sanctions on Turkey over the acquisition of the Russian S-400 missile defense system.

US officials have voiced opposition to the deal, claiming the S-400s would be incompatible with NATO systems and expose F-35 jets to possible Russian subterfuge.

Turkey, however, stressed that the S-400s would not be integrated into NATO systems, and pose no threat to the alliance or its armaments.

Turkish officials have repeatedly proposed a working group to examine the technical compatibility issue.

source: News Feed
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