Azerbaijani president receives top Turkish officials
BAKU- Anadolu Agency
A delegation of top Turkish officials was received on Nov. 10 by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev following an agreement reached to end the nearly three-decade illegal occupation by Armenian forces of Upper Karabakh.
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, Land Forces Commander Ümit Dündar and National Intelligence Organization (MIT) head Hakan Fidan were received in Baku.
Noting that the meeting was the first after Azerbaijan’s victory in Upper Karabakh, Aliyev thanked Turkey for its support.
“For all these 44 days [of operations], we have always felt the support of brotherly Turkey – all the people of Azerbaijan have. The broadcasts of Turkish television channels after the statement was signed yesterday were very heartwarming. Our Turkish brothers rejoiced in this victory as in their own victory,” he said.
Noting the matter of a joint ceasefire monitoring center that will be manned by Turkey and Russia was discussed in a phone call between him and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Aliyev said they have always wanted Turkey and Russia to play an equal role in the Upper Karabakh dispute and this goal was eventually achieved.
Speaking at the reception, Çavuşoğlu congratulated Aliyev on behalf of President Erdoğan, himself and the Turkish nation.
“Your victory is our victory. The Azerbaijani armed forces under your command demonstrated to both friends and enemies what it is capable of,” he said.
Çavuşoğlu said future steps including the formation of the joint monitoring center will be discussed and evaluated between the Turkish delegation and its Azerbaijani counterpart.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced early Tuesday that the two former Soviet republics of Azerbaijan and Armenia had signed a deal to end the conflict in Upper Karabakh, also known as Nagorno-Karabakh.
Aliyev hailed the agreement as a victory for his country, saying Baku's military success has enabled it to gain an upper hand to end the three-decade-long occupation of its territory.
The Turkish leadership also welcomed the truce, terming it a "great victory" for Azerbaijan.
Relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Upper Karabakh have remained tense since 1991, but fresh clashes broke out on Sept. 27.
Armenia repeatedly attacked Azerbaijani civilians and forces for over 40 days, even violating three humanitarian cease-fire agreements.
Besides other towns and villages, Baku’s liberation of the strategic city of Shusha on Sunday had signaled that victory was imminent.