UPDATES WITH TURKISH AND AZERBAIJANI TOP DIPLOMATS’ PHONE TALK, REVISES BACKGROUND
By Jeyhun Aliyev and Mehmet Sah Yilmaz
ANKARA (AA) - Armenia continues to commit “war crimes” in Azerbaijan, killing civilians there, including children, Turkey’s top diplomat said on Saturday.
“Silence in face of savagery means complicity in murder. Those who do not claim their share of humanity will be held accountable for their crimes,” Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Twitter.
He also reiterated that Turkey will always stand with Azerbaijan.
Later in the day, Cavusoglu held a phone conversation with his Azerbaijani counterpart Jeyhun Bayramov, according to Turkish diplomatic sources.
They discussed Armenia’s latest attack on Ganja, the second largest city of Azerbaijan, said the sources on condition of anonymity.
Earlier Saturday, at least 13 civilians were killed, including four women and three minors, and nearly 50 others injured, when Armenian missiles struck Ganja.
Some 20 women and five minors were also among the injured, while two children are still missing, the Prosecutor General’s Office of Azerbaijan said.
More than 20 houses were also destroyed in the attack.
It was Armenia’s second deadly assault on Ganja in less than a week, an area far from the front line with a population of half a million.
Since new clashes erupted between the two countries on Sept. 27, Armenia has continued its attacks on civilians and Azerbaijani forces.
As of midday Saturday, Armenia has killed at least 60 Azerbaijani civilians and injured 270 more, according to Azerbaijani officials.
- Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
Relations between the two former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Upper Karabakh, or Nagorno-Karabakh, an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan.
Some 20% of Azerbaijan’s territory has remained under illegal Armenian occupation for nearly three decades.
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 to in 1994.
Multiple UN resolutions, as well as international organizations, demand the withdrawal of the occupying forces.
World powers, including Russia, France, and the US, have urged a new cease-fire. Turkey, meanwhile, has supported Baku’s right to self-defense and demanded the withdrawal of Armenia's occupying forces.