Lachin road is Azerbaijan's territory: Turkish foreign minister

Lachin road is Azerbaijan's territory: Turkish foreign minister

'Taking measures on Lachin road is one of Azerbaijan's greatest sovereign rights,' Hakan Fidan says

By Diyar Guldogan

Türkiye's foreign minister on Monday said the Lachin road, the only land route giving Armenia access to Karabakh, is Azerbaijan's territory and that Baku can take any measure on it.

"Lachin road is Azerbaijan's territory. Therefore, Azerbaijan takes whatever measures it deems necessary. Taking (measures) is also one of its greatest sovereign rights.

"Medical transitions are also possible. Other routes, which are suitable for extensive material transport, have also been allocated. When we look at all these evaluations, we think that there is no justification for criticizing Azerbaijan on this issue," Hakan Fidan said at a news conference with his Azerbaijani counterpart Jeyhun Bayramov in the capital Ankara.

Azerbaijan has called on countries and international organizations that have made anti-Azerbaijani statements to respect its sovereignty and territorial integrity, especially concerning developments in Karabakh and the Lachin road.

Despite ongoing talks on a peace agreement, tensions between Baku and Yerevan have risen in recent months concerning the Lachin road, as well as Azerbaijan’s establishment of a border checkpoint on the road.

Fidan said that it is "extremely important" that the peace talks between Azerbaijan and Armenia come to a conclusion.

The minister added that agreements between Armenia and Azerbaijan should be signed soon, adding: "This represents a great opportunity for other countries in the region."

About the key Zangezur corridor land route in the southern Caucasus, Fidan said its opening is “vital”.

“The road to regional stability is through a comprehensive peace agreement. For this, the opening of the Zangezur corridor is of great importance,” he added.

The Zangezur region was originally part of Azerbaijan, though the Soviets gave it to Armenia in the 1920s, leaving Azerbaijan deprived of a direct overland route to its exclave of Nakhchivan.

Following its 44-day war with Armenia in fall 2020, Azerbaijan has focused on planned connections including motorways and a 43-kilometer (26.7-mile) railway through the corridor.

The corridor would be near or adjacent to Armenia’s border with Iran, reportedly making Tehran concerned the project might cut off its frontier with Yerevan.

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