Azerbaijan capable of liberating its lands on its own: Turkey’s top diplomat
Azerbaijan is undoubtedly capable of liberating its territories from Armenian occupation, Turkey’s top diplomat has said, calling on the international community to impose pressure on Armenia to withdraw its troops from Nagorno-Karabakh as calls for the cessation of clashes alone will not help resolve the conflict.
“If Azerbaijan wants to resolve this issue on the field, we will stand with them with all our means. We’ll do whatever necessary if Azerbaijan demands. But we see that Azerbaijan’s capacity is sufficient. [Azerbaijan President İlham] Aliyev often tells [Armenia]. ‘Let’s stay alone and see what will happen’,” Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told state-run Anadolu Agency on Sept. 30.
Clashes have erupted in Nagorno-Karabakh after Armenian troops launched an offensive against the Azerbaijani positions on Sunday. Turkey has voiced strong support to Azerbaijan, while condemning the Armenian aggression and occupation of the Azeri lands since the early 1990s.
Turkey and Azerbaijan have long been in a close relationship, including in the field of the defense industry, and Azeri authorities have purchased defense equipment from both Turkey and other countries, the minister stated.
“Azerbaijan says I have my power. It is indeed powerful enough to do so.”
As a country whose 20 percent of territories are under the occupation of Armenia with around one million of its population displaced, Azerbaijan has long shown patience but now is willing to resolve the problem completely, Çavuşoğlu said.
“We understand Azerbaijan’s concerns. The issue could not be solved in the past 30 years, and they have not even observed concrete steps. Plus, Armenia continues its aggression,” he added.
Noting that diplomacy under the OSCE’s Minsk Group has not yielded any result as some members of the international community do continue their support to Armenia, Çavuşoğlu said: “Almost all countries call for the cessation of clashes. But do they also call on Armenia to end its occupation of Azerbaijani lands? No. Do they have a formula for a solution? No.”
Reiterating existing U.N. Security Council resolutions on the Armenian occupation of the Azeri lands, Çavuşoğlu said: “Azerbaijan is conducting its military struggle on its territories. Where in the world the occupying force and the country whose lands are occupied can be seen as equal? As we support the territorial integrity of Ukraine and Georgia, the same position should be voiced for Azerbaijan as well.”
Çavuşoğlu criticizes Macron, Biden
Answering a question, Çavuşoğlu criticized both U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron for describing the Turkish role in the Armenian-Azeri tension as dangerous.
“We are ‘two states, one nation’ with Azerbaijan. Sometimes, on crucial issues, we act as one state. Therefore, they should not try to disintegrate Turkey and Azerbaijan. Instead of saying ,‘Turkey should withdraw,’ they should say ‘Armenia should withdraw from the occupied lands’,” he said.
Macron’s statement shows open support to the occupying force and is inconsistent with the international law, he said, repeating Ankara’s calls to Paris to stop its adversary against Turkey.