Turkey, Pakistan Vow Full Support To Azerbaijan Against Armenia; US, Iran Call For De-Escalation

The Middle East and Asian nations expressed their concern over escalating clashes between Armenian forces and Azerbaijani military in the Upper Karabakh, or Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Iran called on Azerbaijan and Armenia to end the conflict and start talks. Tehran is keeping a close watch on the conflict with concern, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh.

Iran is ready to use all its capacities to establish a cease-fire and start talks between the two sides, Khatibzadeh noted.

US President Donald Trump said Sunday that the US is looking into what can be done to stop the violence between Armenia and Azerbaijan.  Trump told reporters at a White House press conference that the US has “a lot of good relationships in that area. We will see if we can stop it.”

Pakistan threw its weight behind Azerbaijan following Armenia’s border violations and attacks in Upper Karabakh. “Pakistan stands with the brotherly nation of Azerbaijan and supports its right of self-defence,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“We support Azerbaijan’s position on Nagorno-Karabakh, which is in line with several unanimously adopted UN Security Council resolutions,” it added.

Kazakhstan called on Yerevan and Baku to end the conflict, the country’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.  Expressing its deep concern, the ministry said Nur-Sultan urges the two countries to take all measures to stabilize the situation and start a dialogue.

Kazakhstan’s international organizations are also ready to help in seeking peaceful ways to end the conflict, the statement added.

Border clashes broke out early Sunday after Armenian forces ”allegedly targeted Azerbaijani civilian settlements and military positions in Upper Karabakh region.

A major clash between  Azerbaijan and Armenia threatened to entangle regional players Russia and Turkey and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan called on global powers to stop Turkey from getting involved in the conflict. “We are on the brink of a full-scale war in the South Caucasus,” Pashinyan warned.

Turkey blamed Yerevan for the flare-up and assured Baku its “full support”. “The Turkish people will support our Azerbaijani brothers with all our means as always,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan tweeted.

Relations between the two former Soviet nations have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Upper Karabakh, or Nagorno-Karabakh, an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan.

Four UN Security Council and two UN General Assembly resolutions, as well as many international organizations, demand the withdrawal of the forces.

The OSCE Minsk Group – co-chaired by France, Russia and the US – was formed in 1992 to find a peaceful solution to the conflict, but to no avail. A cease-fire, however, was agreed upon in 1994. France, Russia and NATO, among others, have urged an immediate halt to clashes in the region.

Hailing Turkish Support

Khan with Erdogan

Earlier, welcoming the Turkish government and nation’s “unwavering” support for the “just position of Azerbaijan” – as the two are like “one nation, two states” –Ambassador Khazar Ibrahim said: “As always, Turkey stands by Azerbaijan, and Azerbaijan stands by Turkey.”

He said the Azerbaijani and Turkish leaders spoke on the phone today when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan again stressed the countries’ brotherly relations and very clearly stated that Armenia was the occupying force.

Armenia’s latest violations along the border with Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh show that it poses the greatest threat to regional peace, Erdogan said.

“We highly appreciate this brotherly and also very important, very just position of the Turkish government, the Turkish political forces, and the Turkish people,” Ibrahim said, adding that what Armenia is doing is against humanitarian law and humanistic ideals, and is basically challenging peace and security in the region and globally.

Public Mobilization

Ibrahim underlined that the Azerbaijani people are “very much mobilized and gathered” around their commander-in-chief, President Ilham Aliyev.

“And it was clear several months ago, it was clear all these years, it’s clear today too. So everybody officially, or unofficially, is mobilized.”

He emphasized that Azerbaijanis from all across the country have family members who are now serving on the front line. “And, again, we have both political and I would say spiritual unanimity and unity within Azerbaijani society,” he said.

On Sunday, in an extraordinary meeting, the Azerbaijani parliament declared a state of war in some of its cities and regions following Armenia’s border violations and attacks in Upper Karabakh. Under the decision, a curfew may also be declared at certain times in some regions.

The ambassador also warned that the Armenian leadership should understand that their actions and provocations against Azerbaijan “will never remain unanswered.”

“And they should first think at least about their own people that whatever they are doing, and whatever response they’re getting, ultimately it will be their people who will suffer from that.”

Saying he sees Armenia’s attempts to distract from domestic woes, he urged: “Therefore they should put the interests of the people first instead of provoking these actions which are intended both to calm down probably internal calamities they have, or whatever other plans and strategies they try to imply.”

Call on the international community

Ibrahim called on all nations around the globe – regardless of where they are located – to follow and act in line with international law.

“The international community should demand those who violate international law, who go against the norms or principles of international law, who unlawfully illegally militarily occupy territories and violate internationally recognized borders of other countries, call them to justice, demand the fulfilment of these norms and principles, and demand the fulfilment of UN Security Council resolutions.”

He said if the international community fails to do so, then the consequences could include – citing the situation Azerbaijan is facing – having more than 1 million refugees and internally displaced persons for almost three decades, people who were ethnically cleansed, and even genocide.

“If you have things like this and you tolerate it, other regions, other places are not immune from that,” Ibrahim warned.

Four UN Security Council and two UN General Assembly resolutions, as well as decisions by many international organizations, refer to this fact and demand that Armenia’s occupying forces withdraw from Upper Karabakh and seven other regions of Azerbaijan. A cease-fire along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border was declared in 1994.

AA & ET Desk