Karabakh is Azerbaijani territory, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday, asserting that the imposition of any other status for the region would never be accepted.
He expressed Türkiye’s expectation that Armenia fulfil its commitments, especially those related to the opening of the Zangezur corridor, a key planned unimpeded road through Armenian territory connecting Azerbaijan to its Nakhchivan exclave.
“As everyone now accepts, Karabakh is Azerbaijani territory. The imposition of any other status will never be accepted,” Erdogan underlined, adding that the primary goal should now be peaceful coexistence for all, including Armenians, on Azerbaijani territory.
Türkiye supports Azerbaijan’s steps to preserve its territorial integrity, he said.
On Tuesday Azerbaijan launched “counter-terrorism measures” in Karabakh to uphold provisions outlined in a November 2020 trilateral peace agreement it signed with Russia and Armenia following 44 days of clashes with Yerevan.
Steps were taken to “suppress large-scale provocations in the Karabakh economic region, to disarm and secure the withdrawal of formations of Armenia’s armed forces from our territories, neutralize their military infrastructure, provide the safety of the civilian population which returned to territories liberated from occupation, civilians involved in construction and restoration work and our military personnel, and ultimately restore the constitutional order of the Republic of Azerbaijan,” the country’s Defense Ministry said.
Relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.
In the fall of 2020, Azerbaijan liberated several cities, villages, and settlements from Armenian occupation during 44 days of clashes. The war ended with a Russia-brokered cease-fire.
Tensions between the two nations, however, continue despite ongoing talks aiming for a long-term peace agreement.