Minsk Group chairs supplying weapons to Armenia: Erdoğan
The Minsk Group chairs, the United States, Russia and France, are supplying weapons to Armenia in the ongoing armed conflict with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, slamming the Armenian government for breaching a ceasefire over the weekend.
“Why is Turkey siding with Azerbaijan? You know about the Minsk trio: The United States, Russia and France. Whose side are they on? They are with Armenia. Do they give Armenia all sorts of armed support? Yes, they do,” Erdoğan told a provincial convention in the southeastern province of Şırnak on Oct. 18.
Azerbaijan is in an effort to liberate its territories from the occupation of Armenia, and there cannot be anything more normal and natural than this, Erdoğan said, reiterating his criticism for the international community, particularly the Minsk Group formed in 1994 to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh problem. Armenia had occupied the region that belongs to Azerbaijan in the early days of the independence of former Soviet republics.
“These three countries of the Minsk Group did not allow negotiations for 30 years and did not give its territories back to Azerbaijan,” Erdoğan stated. Azerbaijan is therefore fighting to get its lands back from Armenia, and the clashes have shown that the Azerbaijani army will surely be victorious, he added.
“The West is not on Azerbaijan’s side. It was once again Armenia that violated the ceasefire. Does the West speak up about it? But when Turkey speaks up about it, they complain ‘Turkey never keeps silent,’” he suggested.
US has 24 bases in Syria
Turkey will always continue to side with the oppressed and his existence and role in Syria, Libya and elsewhere in line with this understanding, the president said, criticizing those who question Turkey’s influence in Libya or Syria.
“We have a 911-kilometer-long border with Syria. Shouldn’t we secure our borders?” asked Erdoğan, recalling the existence of the terrorist groups along the Turkish-Syrian border.
“The United States has 24 bases in Syria. What business might they have in Syria, 11,000 kilometers away from the U.S.? In addition, they supplied 3,000 trucks full of military equipment and weapons,” he said, recalling Washington’s continued support to the YPG in the fight against ISIL.
Turkey considers the YPG as the Syrian affiliate of the PKK and, therefore, a terrorist group.
Russian Wagner Group in Libya
In Libya, Turkey stands with the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA), Erdoğan said, slamming Russia’s mercenary group, the Wagner Group, for supporting General Khalifa Haftar who long tried to capture Tripoli from the GNA forces.
“We will be present where oppression exists,” Erdoğan stated.
Turkey provides assistance to the GNA in defending Tripoli against Haftar forces and has paved the way for the creation of a balance between the two rival sides.