The Turkey-Azerbaijan axis was in full gear on Thursday with Ankara saying Armenian will “definitely pay” for what it called consequences of attacks against Azerbaijan, while Baku, having suffered major combat losses in the past three days vowed to attack the Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant near Yerevan.
Turkey’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar in talks with Azerbaijan’s Deputy Defense Minister Ramiz Tahirov Thursday said that Turkey will “avenge” Azerbaijani killed during four days of fighting resulting from Azerbaijan’s brazen attack on military and civilian targets in Armenia’s Tavush Province.
“The pain of the Azerbaijani Turk is our pain. We want you to know that any kind of difficulties that you feel there [in Azerbaijan] are felt here [in Turkey] very deeply. The blood of our Azerbaijani brothers will not remain unavenged,” Akar added.
According Azerbaijani Defense Ministry sources 11 Azerbaijani died during clashes this week. This number does not include the “massive losses” reportedly suffered by Azerbaijan during its attack on Armenian posts on Thursday.
Akar told Tahirov that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey was closely monitoring the developments and was in constant contact with his Azerbaijani counterpart, Ilham Aliyev.
Armenia’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday said, “Turkey is a security threat for Armenia and the region, and broad regional and international cooperation is needed to counter it.’’
The foreign ministry condemned Ankara for inserting itself into regional conflicts saying that Turkey’s unconditional support for Azerbaijan “exhibit its regional ambitions toward the South Caucasus, which the Turkish President and other officials attempt to justify by referring to Turkey’s ‘historic mission’ in the region.”
“By invoking its ‘historical mission’ and ethnic or religious affiliations, Turkey has already destabilized the situation in a number of neighboring regions: the Middle East, Eastern Mediterranean and North Africa causing immeasurable sufferings to the peoples of those regions,” said official Yerevan, adding the Turkey has built its policy in the region by denying the Armenian Genocide with impunity.
“Turkey’s provocative and biased stance seriously undermines the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and proves that Turkey can not be involved in any international processes related to the conflict, first and foremost within the OSCE framework,” said Armenia’s Foreign Ministry.
At the same time, Azerbaijan threatened on Thursday to launch missile attacks on Armenia’s Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant.
“The Armenian side must not forget that state-of-the-art missile systems of our army allow us to strike the Metsamor nuclear plant with precision, which could lead to a great catastrophe for Armenia,” said Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry spokesperson Vagif Dargahli.
Armenia’s Foreign Ministry said threatening to attack the nuclear plant “is indicative of the level of desperation and the crisis of the mind of the political-military leadership of Azerbaijan.”
The foreign ministry said that Azerbaijan’s defense ministry threats violated countless international laws and protocols, adding that such threats “are an explicit demonstration of state terrorism and genocidal intent of Azerbaijan.”
Calling Baku’s actions “a menace to all the people of the region, including its own population.”
“We strongly condemn the nuclear threats voiced by Azerbaijan, which demonstrate absolute absence of responsibility and sound judgement from this particular member of the international community,” explained Armenia’s foreign ministry.