President Erdoğan to attend victory parade in Baku over Nagorno-Karabakh victory
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will pay a visit to Baku on Dec. 10 to attend a victory parade over the Azerbaijani army’s liberation of territories that were under three decades of Armenian occupation and to hold talks with Azerbaijani President İlham Aliyev.
Azerbaijan will hold celebrations for the army’s victory against Armenia, a month after the latter had to accept the withdrawal of its troops from the occupied territories in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Brokered by Russia on Nov. 10 following six-week-long armed conflict, the agreement has officially ended the Armenian occupation and brought about a ceasefire to be monitored from a joint center to be established by Russia and Turkey.
Turkey has pledged a great support to Azerbaijan throughout the clashes in line with a bilateral agreement on security cooperation. Both Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Defense Minister Hulusi Akar have frequently visited Baku during the armed conflict in a bid to coordinate the cooperation between the two countries. It will be Erdoğan’s first visit to Baku after the Nagorno-Karabakh victory.
The talks between Erdoğan and Aliyev are expected to focus on the post-conflict process in the Nagorno-Karabakh and how best the two countries will cooperate in further stabilizing the region.
Relations between the former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Upper Karabakh, a territory recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.
The agreement and truce are seen as a victory for Azerbaijan and a defeat for Armenia, whose armed forces have been withdrawing in line with the agreement.
Meanwhile, the Turkish press reported that Azerbaijan rescheduled its Victory Day from Nov. 10 to Nov. 8 as the former is the day when Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey, passed away in 1938.
Erdoğan discuss regional developments with Iran
Meanwhile, Erdoğan held a phone conversation with Iranian President Hasan Rouhani late Dec. 3 to discuss the recent regional developments, including the assassination of Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.
Erdoğan expressed his deep sorrow over the loss of Fakhrizadeh and conveyed his condolences to the people of Iran and the scientist’s family, while underlining that those who target the region’s peace will fail. Fakhrizadeh was killed by unknown gunmen on the outskirts of the capital Tehran on Nov. 30, becoming the fifth Iranian nuclear scientist to be assassinated since 2010.
During the phone call with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Erdoğan also discussed the Nagorno-Karabakh issue as he mentioned a “new period” in the region and stressed the significance of carefully avoiding any action that could overshadow the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan.
Peace and the stability in the region will give new opportunities, which will benefit countries in the region, including Armenia, Erdoğan added.
The two leaders also discussed steps towards enhancing bilateral ties, as well as regional issues.