End occupation in Upper Karabakh: Erdogan tells Armenia

Turkish president's remarks come after border clashes broke out early Sunday between Azerbaijan, Armenia

End occupation in Upper Karabakh: Erdogan tells Armenia
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

The Turkish president on Monday called on Armenia to immediately end the occupation of Azerbaijani territories, so the peace will reign in the region again.

“The crisis in the region that started with the occupation of Upper Karabakh must be put to an end,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during a symposium on international maritime law and Eastern Mediterranean at the Dolmabahce Office in Istanbul.

“Once again I condemn Armenia, which attacked Azerbaijani territories yesterday,” Erdogan said.

“Turkey continues to stand with the friendly and brotherly Azerbaijan with all its facilities and heart,” he added.

Any imposition or offer other than ending the occupation “will not only be unjust and unlawful but continue to spoil Armenia,” Erdogan said.

“Recent developments have provided an opportunity for all influential countries in the region to introduce realistic and fair solutions,” he said.

“We hope that this opportunity will be utilized at its best.”

Erdogan’s remarks came after border clashes broke out early Sunday after Armenian forces targeted Azerbaijani civilian settlements and military positions in the region, which is also known as Nagorno-Karabakh.

Relations between the two former Soviet nations have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Upper 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.