Azerbaijan's sovereignty over Karabakh reinforced with recent victory: Turkish President Erdogan
Baku, September 26, AZERTAC
Azerbaijan's sovereignty over Karabakh was reinforced after the recent "anti-terror activities" in the region, Anadolu Agency reports citing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
"As Türkiye, we stood by Azerbaijan in all processes. I strongly emphasized our support in my address to the UN General Assembly last week.
"As a result of the operation, Azerbaijan's sovereignty over the entire Karabakh was reinforced," Erdogan told reporters late Monday on the presidential plane returning from a visit to Azerbaijan's autonomous Nakhchivan exclave.
More importantly, Erdogan said, a new window of opportunity opened to establish permanent peace and stability in the region.
He added that the Azerbaijani army stood firm against the terrorists and regarded the civilian lives.
Last week, in the wake of provocations by Armenian forces in Karabakh, Azerbaijan said it had launched "counter-terrorism" activities in the region to uphold a 2020 trilateral peace agreement with Russia and Armenia. After 24 hours, a cease-fire was reached in the region.
"We expect Armenia to display a strong will instead of prolonging the process. I also expressed this expectation to Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, with whom I spoke over the phone on Sept. 11.
"We do not see any problem that cannot be solved if Azerbaijan's territorial integrity, sovereignty and neighborhood law are respected.
"Making progress in the Azerbaijan-Armenia process will also give great impetus to regional normalization. We will continue to work with Azerbaijan to establish stability, peace and prosperity in the South Caucasus," he added.
It is now time for a permanent peace and tranquility for Khojaly and Karabakh under Azerbaijani sovereignty, Erdogan said. "Armenia must support peace in order to establish this tranquility."
In the fall of 2020, Azerbaijan liberated several cities, villages and settlements from Armenian occupation during 44 days of clashes. The war ended that November with a Russia-brokered cease-fire.
Opening of the Zangezur land route in southern Caucasus is a "strategic issue" for Türkiye, Erdogan said, adding the corridor is "very important" for the ties of Ankara and Baku.
"Our wish is to open this (corridor) by turning it into a peace corridor. It is impossible to imagine a corridor where a war still prevails.
"...The train coming from Türkiye will pass through Nakhchivan and Armenia, and head to Azerbaijan ... If Armenia does not pave the way for this, where will it go? It will pass through Iran. Iran currently views this positively," Erdogan said.
Establishing direct connections with Nakhchivan and other regions of Azerbaijan via land and railway lines will make the relations stronger, Erdogan said.
"We will do our best to open this corridor as soon as possible. The realization of this corridor, which is very important for Türkiye and Azerbaijan, is a strategic issue and must be completed. When this corridor opens, a vehicle or train leaving Baku will be able to come directly to Kars (an eastern Turkish province.)
"Türkiye-Azerbaijan brotherhood will become much stronger. It is pleasing to see positive signals from Iran on this issue," he added.