Yerevan has urged Turkey not to meddle in ongoing hostilities over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, warning that the conflict could spill out over regional borders. Ankara had earlier pledged “full support” to Azerbaijan.
“Turkey’s aggressive behavior is a serious cause for concern,” Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said in a televised address to the nation on Sunday. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had previously said Azerbaijan, which is involved in heavy border fighting over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh, “is not alone” in the confrontation.
Such a stance “is fraught with catastrophic consequences for the South Caucasus and adjacent regions,” PM Pashinyan said. The international community should keep Turkey out of the conflict, he added, warning that the situation risked getting out of hand.
The situation could have irreversible consequences, move beyond the borders of the region and threaten international peace and stability.
Pashinyan also accused Baku of declaring “a war on the Armenian people” and blamed the triggering of the current hostilities on Azerbaijan.
Turkey has repeatedly expressed support for its Azeri “brothers.” Erdogan minced no words on Sunday when he called Armenia “the biggest threat to peace and tranquility in the region.” He said the entire Turkish nation was ready to stand by Azerbaijan “with its entire means, as always.” He did not expand on what “means” could be made available to Azerbaijan. Lower-tier Turkish officials shared the sentiment.
Hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan broke out along the Nagorno-Karabakh border earlier today, involving artillery shelling, tank raids, and combat aircraft sorties. Both sides reported civilian casualties, and claimed they inflicted losses on one another. Armenia has declared martial law and a general conscription call, as did the Armenian-populated enclave.
The renewed clashes prompted intense diplomatic activity to prevent the two arch-rivals from sliding into a full-blown confrontation. Moscow, a stakeholder within the Minsk Group, has already held telephone talks with Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Turkey, urging an immediate ceasefire and a return to dialogue. Paris and EU institutions have issued similar messages.
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