Turkey urges int’l community to speak up over U.Karabakh

BAKU

The international community should speak up on the issue of the Armenian-occupied Azerbaijani territory of Upper Karabakh, Turkey’s vice president said on Monday.

Decrying recent statements by Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Turkey’s Fuat Oktay said: “I would like to stress that it is clear that such demagogic statements will not contribute to negotiations [over Karabakh] and the international community should not remain silent on this.”

Oktay, on an official visit to Azerbaijan’s capital Baku, stressed that Turkey has acted in close cooperation with Azerbaijan for a quarter of a century to end the occupation of about one-fifth of the territory of Azerbaijan.

“We see this as our national issue as much as it is for Azerbaijan,” he told the Turkey-Azerbaijan Business Forum.

Upper Karabakh is internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan illegally occupied by Armenia through military aggression since 1991.

The Armenian occupation of the historical Azerbaijani lands led Turkey — which sides with Baku in the conflict — to close its frontier with Armenia.

Oktay said Turkey was the first country to recognize the independence of Azerbaijan, which it regained in 1991, calling it a result of the “eternal fellowship.”

He also stressed that the spirit of brotherhood between the two countries grows stronger every day through collaboration, concrete projects, and high-level visits based on strategic vision.

“Today, Azerbaijan and Turkey are each other’s most important political partners, leading trading partners, and investors,” he said.

A half-dozen UN resolutions as well as decisions by many other international organizations demand the withdrawal of the occupying Armenian forces from Upper Karabakh and seven other occupied regions of Azerbaijan. 

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