REVISES HEADLINE, ADDS MORE REMARKS, EDITS THROUGHOUT
By Burak Bir
ANKARA (AA) – The Upper Karabakh dispute can only be solved with the withdrawal of Armenia from Azerbaijani territories, Turkey’s foreign minister said on Tuesday.
Speaking at a news conference in Ankara along with Khazar Ibrahim, Azerbaijan’s ambassador to Turkey, Mevlut Cavusoglu reiterated Turkey's full support for Azerbaijan.
“We, as Turkey, always stand with our brotherly country Azerbaijan, just as they always side with Turkey,” he said, adding that Ankara is determined to completely resolve the dispute.
Cavusoglu stressed that Turkey will continue to extend all-out diplomatic support to Azerbaijan in line with the ‘one nation, two states’ concept that defines Ankara and Baku’s close relations.
Referring to international organizations’ stance on the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, Turkey’s top diplomat criticized parties, including the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), for not taking any concrete steps to solve the problem.
Cavusoglu asserted that Turkey and its current government has made concerted efforts to resolve the issue in a peaceful and diplomatic way.
Deadly border clashes broke out early Sunday when Armenian forces targeted Azerbaijani civilian settlements and military positions, leading to multiple casualties.
Azerbaijan’s parliament declared a state of war in some cities and areas, following Armenia's border violations and attacks in the occupied region.
Azerbaijan declared partial military mobilization on the second day of the clashes.
- Upper Karabakh conflict
Relations between the two former Soviet nations have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Upper Karabakh, or Nagorno-Karabakh, an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan.
Four UN Security Council and two UN General Assembly resolutions, as well as many international organizations, demand the withdrawal of the occupying forces.
The 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 upon in 1994.
France, Russia, and NATO, among others, have urged an immediate halt to clashes in the occupied region.