Turkish General visits Baku amid violence
A top Turkish commander is paying a visit to Azerbaijan amid clashes along the border between the Caspian nation and Armenia.
Turkish Gendarmerie Forces Cmdr. Gen. Bekir Kalyoncu arrived in Baku on June 10 to hold officials meetings on the heels of Land Forces Cmdr. Gen. Hayri Kıvrıkoğlu’s three-day trip to the country, Anatolia news agency reported.
The delegation led by Kalyoncu visited the grave of late President Haydar Aliyev, Martyrs’ Avenue and the Turkish Martyrdom Monument yesterday, according to the Azerbaijani news.az website.
Kalyoncu was also scheduled to meet Interior Minister Col. Gen. Ramil Usubov and the deputy interior minister, Internal Troops Cmdr. Lt.-Gen. Zakir Hasanov yesterday, along with Defense Minister Col. Gen. Safar Abiyev and President Ilham Aliyev.
Kalyoncu’s visit ends tomorrow. The visit came as Azerbaijani military officials said a mine explosion along the border with Nagorno-Karabakh yesterday severely injured two Azerbaijani soldiers, according to Azeri media reports. Officials said one of the officers lost his leg in the blast, while the other’s arm had to be amputated.
NATO urges decrease of tension in border
Meanwhile, NATO’s special representative for the South Caucasus and Central Asia, James Appathurai, told reporters in Tbilisi yesterday that the alliance supported a decrease in tension over Nagorno-Karabakh, according to the Azerbaijani Trend.az website.
“We are closely watching the developments and note that in recent weeks, the confrontation between Armenia and Azerbaijan dramatically escalated and this causes our concern,” he said. “
We are for a de-escalation of tension [as that is leading] to a new aggravation of the situation in the region. We are for the peaceful settlement of disputes on the basis of satisfying the requirements of both sides,” he said.