Erdogan urges Azerbaijan leader to avoid Armenia tensions

AFP , Monday 19 Feb 2024

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday told Azerbaijan's visiting leader that he wanted Baku to avoid future border flareups with Armenia and to pursue a lasting peace.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan with  Ilham Aliyev
Turkey s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, shakes hands with Azerbaijan s President Ilham Aliyev after a joint news conference following their meeting at the presidential palace in Ankara. AP


Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev arrived in Ankara, Baku's most important military and diplomatic supporter on the global stage, after holding rare talks with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan hosted by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

The Munich meeting's stakes were raised by a deadly clash last week along the Azerbaijan-Armenian border that Yerevan said killed four Armenian troops.

The German chancellory said Aliyev and Pashinyan had agreed to push for peace and avoid the use of force.

Erdogan said he also hoped that last week's flareup "will not be repeated".

"There is no doubt that the signing of a permanent peace treaty between Azerbaijan and Armenia would be a new source of hope for peace, tranquility, and stability in our region and the world," Erdogan said at a joint media appearance.

Pashinyan had warned after last week's exchange of fire that Azerbaijan was preparing for a "full-scale war" with its historic foe.

Azerbaijan has been emboldened by its capture of the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh territory in a swift offensive that settled one of the world's most intractable conflicts last year.

The war saw almost the entire ethnic-Armenian population of Karabakh, estimated at more than 100,000 people, flee for Armenia.

It also created a deep rift in Armenia's relations with its regional ally Russia that appeared to push Yerevan closer to agreeing to an elusive peace deal with Baku.

"With the end of the (Armenian) occupation in Karabakh, a historic window of opportunity opened for permanent peace," Erdogan said.

"It is important that this window of opportunity does not close."

Aliyev said the war helped "resolve a historical issue that could not be resolved by peaceful means".

"Azerbaijan will never forget this brotherly support," Aliyev said of Turkey's diplomatic backing and weapons sales.

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