Turkey’s defense minister says Armenia will be ‘brought to account’ for attack on Azerbaijan
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has vowed Armenia will be “brought to account” for its attack on Azerbaijan, saying Turkey is closely following developments in the region.
Akar met with Azerbaijani Deputy Defense Minister and Commander of Air Forces Ramiz Tahirov on July 16.
“The pain of the Azeri Turks is our pain,” he told reporters during the meeting.
Turkey “condemns this villainous attack,” the minister stated, adding that the move “goes over Armenia’s head.”
“They will be left under the trouble they started. They will be drowned under this plot and certainly pay for what they have done,” he said.
Turkey slams Armenia over ‘smear campaign’
Meanwhile,the Turkish Foreign Ministry on July 16 slammed statements from Armenia which Ankara says was a “smear campaign” against Turkey.
“This hypocritical attitude of Armenia, which has maintained an illegitimate occupation in the territory of Azerbaijan for many years, clearly and obviously reveals who the main obstacle to the establishment of permanent peace and stability in the South Caucasus is,” the ministry said in a statement.
Armenia’s foreign policy based on “slandering” will not be beneficial to anyone, said the ministry. “This approach is a manifestation of a mentality that creates its identity only from a unilateral understanding of history and tries to justify its unlawful aggression,” it said.
This “faulty attitude of Armenia that triggers aggressive nationalism is sad, but not surprising,” said Ankara.
Armenian authorities should act “wisely and learn as soon as possible to be part of solutions instead of problems” in the South Caucasus, it noted.
Turkey cannot be involved in any international processes related to the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the Armenian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Following the tension between Azerbaijan and Armenia, statements by the Turkish authorities “not only contain commitment of unconditional support to Azerbaijan but also exhibit clear regional ambitions towards the South Caucasus, which the President of Turkey, along with other officials, attempt to substantiate by referring to Turkey’s ‘historic mission’ in the region,” the Foreign Ministry said.
“Invoking its historical mission and ethnic or religious affiliations, Turkey has already destabilized the situation in a number of neighboring regions: The Middle East, Eastern Mediterranean and North Africa causing immeasurable sufferings to the peoples of those regions,” the Armenian ministry added.
“With its approaches, Turkey is a security threat for Armenia and the region, and broad regional and international cooperation is needed to counter it,” read the statement.
On July 12, four Azerbaijani soldiers died and four others were injured in a border clash with Armenian troops.
Seven Azerbaijani soldiers, including one major general, have been killed in border clashes with Armenian troops, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said on July 14.
Kerim Veliyev, deputy defense minister, said many Armenian army military vehicles and positions have been destroyed in two days of clashes. Armenia says four of its troops - two of them officers - were killed.
The United Nations has urged both sides to reduce tensions at the border.