As the battles between the Azerbaijani and Armenian forces continued for the fifth day in a row, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan set a condition for a ceasefire, while the Armenian President spoke to the island about his vision of the truce.
Today, Thursday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan renewed his absolute support for Azerbaijan in its battles with Armenia in the disputed Nagorno Karabakh region.
The Turkish President said that a ceasefire in Nagorny Karabakh would not be possible unless 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 said 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 front of what is happening show the same position 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.
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 three countries 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 Armenian volunteers who came from abroad to fight alongside the Armenian forces in the conflict with Azerbaijan. He added, “It is the right of any Armenian to fight alongside Armenia in its conflict with Azerbaijan, and this is normal.”
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 have 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.
And the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry published video clips showing a drone bombing of military vehicles and convoys that it said were Armenian and were heading to the battle fronts.
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.
An Armenian military spokesman said that the southern front bordering Iran is witnessing violent battles between Armenian forces and Azerbaijani forces.
The Armenian Ministry of Defense confirmed that the battles with the Azerbaijani army were intensifying on various front lines.
In conjunction with the continuing fighting, an extraordinary summit of European Union leaders will be held in Brussels today and tomorrow, to discuss tension in the eastern Mediterranean and relations with Turkey.
European Council President Charles Michel said that the goal is to create a space for constructive dialogue with Turkey to achieve stability and security in the region, stressing that this will only be achieved if Turkey participates constructively.
Michel added that all options are on the table to defend the legitimate interests of the European Union.
German government sources ruled out that the summit would include plans to impose sanctions on Ankara, and European officials also stressed that the issue of sanctions does not enjoy unanimity within the European Union.