Turkish, Azerbaijani defense chiefs discuss bilateral defense

Turkish, Azerbaijani defense chiefs discuss bilateral defense

Turkish, Azerbaijani defense chiefs discuss bilateral defense

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar met with his Azerbaijani counterpart on Aug. 17. 

Akar met with Zakir Hasanov in Istanbul, on the sidelines of the 15th International Defense Industry Fair, one of the world's largest global defense events.

The meeting was held in a warm atmosphere, and they discussed bilateral and regional defense and security and defense industry cooperation.

Also on the agenda were harassment and attacks by Armenia on the border with Azerbaijan. Akar stressed that Turkey would continue to stand by Azerbaijan in its "just cause."

Spotlighted during the fair were Turkish drones, which many observers have credited with helping Azerbaijan liberate occupied land from Armenia last fall.

Liberation of Karabakh

Relations between the former Soviet republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, internationally recognized as Azerbaijani territory, and seven adjacent regions.

When new clashes erupted on Sept. 27, 2020, the Armenian army launched attacks on civilians and Azerbaijani forces and violated several humanitarian cease-fire agreements.

During the 44-day conflict, Azerbaijan liberated several cities and nearly 300 settlements and villages from the nearly three-decade occupation.

Despite a Nov. 10 deal last year ending the conflict, the Armenian army several times violated the agreement and martyred several Azerbaijani soldiers and a civilian, and wounded several others, according to the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry.

Libyan chief of staff

Also during the defense fair, Akar also met with Libyan Chief of General Staff Muhammad Ali Ahmad al-Haddad.

During the meeting, which focused on bilateral and regional defense and security issues, Akar underlined the importance of the 500-year brotherhood between the two countries.

Turkey will continue to stand by the Libyan people in their just cause with the understanding of "Libya belongs to the Libyans,” said Akar.

In fall 2019, Turkey and Libya signed a security cooperation agreement.

Turkey also stood with Libya’s internationally recognized government in defeating the forces of putschist Gen. Khalifa Haftar.