International calls have escalated to stop the fighting in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, with the fighting continuing for the fifth day in a row yesterday between the Azerbaijani and Armenian armies.
While French President Emmanuel Macron called on NATO to confront Turkey’s actions and bypassed what he described as a red line, as hundreds of fighters headed from Syria to Azerbaijan through its territory, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed that his country will continue to support Azerbaijan with all its capabilities.
In the latest appeals, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on Armenia and Azerbaijan to cease fire, and expressed hope that both sides would realize in the coming days that violence will not solve the existing conflict.
In an interview with Fox News, the US Secretary pointed out that the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan has been going on for a long time, and urged the two parties not to internationalize the matter and not to interfere with outside parties.
For his part, European Council President Charles Michel called at the European summit for an immediate ceasefire in the disputed Nagorno Karabakh region, and for the resumption of dialogue between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
On the other hand, the French president said that he would contact his Turkish counterpart to ask him what he called “explanations” for the crossing of 300 “jihadist organizations” in Syria to the Karabakh region through Turkish territory, according to what was reported by French intelligence.
“A red line has been crossed,” Macron said, “I say this is unacceptable, and I call on all NATO partners” to confront the behavior of a member state of NATO, referring to Turkey.
Yesterday, Thursday, the Turkish President renewed his absolute support for Azerbaijan in its battles with Armenia in the Nagorno Karabakh region.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that a ceasefire in the region will not be possible unless the Armenian forces withdraw from the separatist region and other Azerbaijani lands.
“Achieving a permanent ceasefire in this region depends on the withdrawal of Armenians from every inch of Azerbaijani lands,” Erdogan added in a televised speech.
The Turkish president considered it unacceptable for the United States, Russia and France to participate in efforts to reach a ceasefire, “given that those countries have ignored the problems there for about 30 years.”
He said, “Armenia occupied Karabakh, and massacres were committed against civilians. Those who acted blind, stigmatized and dumb in the face of what is happening show the same situation today, and this is a two-faced approach.”
He added, “The words of the parties that watch the occupiers silently and incriminate those who defend their country and those who support it in this way are of no value to us. We will continue to support our Azerbaijani brothers with all our capabilities based on the principle of one people in two states.”
In a speech before the Turkish Parliament, Erdogan reiterated that Armenia must withdraw from the region in order to achieve lasting peace in the region.
Immediately after the end of Erdogan’s speech, the United States, Russia and France issued a statement calling for an immediate ceasefire between Azerbaijan and the Armenian forces.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said, “The aggressive statements of a third party regarding Karabakh are not constructive, irresponsible and destabilize the situation in the Caucasus.”
It is noteworthy that France, Russia and the United States are members of the Minsk Group, which was formed in 1992 to mediate a peaceful solution to the Nagorno Karabakh region.
Armenia wants to calm down
For his part, the President of Armenia told the island that “the international community can only view the matter as ethnic cleansing, and we will not allow a second genocide against us.” “We are ready to accept Russian mediation for dialogue with Azerbaijan,” he added.
The Armenian president stressed that his country does not want to escalate the conflict, and warned “against turning the Caucasus into another Syria.”
He admitted that there are a number of Armenian volunteers who came from abroad to fight alongside the Armenian forces in the conflict with Azerbaijan. “It is the right of any Armenian to fight alongside Armenia in its conflict with Azerbaijan, and this is normal,” he added.
He accused Turkey of interfering directly in the fighting on the side of Azerbaijan “with fighters and drones.”
For the fifth consecutive day, clashes continue in the Nagorno Karabakh region between the Azerbaijani and Armenian armies on several axes to the north and south.
Azerbaijani military sources confirmed to Al Jazeera that its forces had made great progress on the Fuzuli front, and inflicted heavy losses among the Armenian forces on the Goran Boy front. The Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense also denied that Armenian forces shot down a plane.
For its part, the Armenian Ministry of Defense said that the situation on the battlefronts with the Azerbaijani side is still tense, and that last night’s battles witnessed a mutual bombardment using heavy artillery and missiles.