Turkish FM vows support for Azerbaijan after recent clashes

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Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has expressed support for Azerbaijan in the wake of the killing of seven Azerbaijani soldiers in clashes with Armenia on the border, BBC Turkish service reported on Wednesday.

“Azerbaijan is not alone, and we will not leave it alone,” Çavuşoğlu said at a joint press conference with visiting Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani in Ankara.

Çavuşoğlu was referring to a statement in which the Azerbaijani army claimed that clashes along the Azerbaijan-Armenia border on Tuesday night killed seven Azerbaijani soldiers, wounding 10 others. Armenian officials reported one casualty and said 13 soldiers were captured during Tuesday’s hostilities, while 24 more are missing.

“Armenia’s provocations constitute terrorist attacks in Azerbaijani territory,” Çavuşoğlu said.

“Azerbaijan proposed signing a peace agreement with Armenia,” Çavuşoğlu said. “That is, the powerful side that won the war made this proposal. Armenia, on the other hand, had some of its soldiers enter Azerbaijani territory, attacking Azerbaijani soldiers shortly after a ceasefire. This attitude is misguided.”

Last year Russia helped broker a peace deal between Armenia and Azerbaijan that ended six weeks of fighting over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

After the ceasefire, the Turkish parliament authorized sending troops to Azerbaijan to establish a “peacekeeping center” with Russia to monitor the truce.

Under the Russian-brokered deal, Armenia ceded swathes of territory to Azerbaijan in the disputed enclave as well as surrounding areas it had controlled since a war in the 1990s, in addition to allowing the deployment of Russian peacekeepers in the area.

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