Turkey’s foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, on Monday called on Armenia to “refrain from new provocations,” after a week-long attack by Azerbaijani forces on Artsakh Army positions, which were blamed on the former by Russia’s peacekeepers. Meanwhile, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey declared Artsakh as part of Azerbaijan, as Ankara continued to advance its own agenda, while Turkey and Armenia are engaged in so-called normalization talks “without preconditions.”
“After the end of the war [in Karabakh], Turkey is making efforts to ensure peace in the region. Now we are talking not about Azerbaijan’s occupied territories, displaced people, refugees and a conflict that can start again at any moment, but about regional peace and cooperation. We again call on Armenia to refrain from participating in new provocations [against Azerbaijan in Karabakh],” Cavusoglu reportedly told a gathering of Turkish diplomats.
While returning from his meeting in Sochi, Russia, where he met with that country’s president, Vladimir Putin, Erdogan addressed the recent escalation in Artsakh and said that “Karabakh is within the internationally recognized borders of Azerbaijan,” the Daily Sabah reported.
Last month, both Cavusoglu and Erdogan insisted that Ankara will normalize relations with Yerevan when the latter recognizes the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, which, according to Turkey includes Artsakh. It also demanded that Armenia open the so-called “Zangezur Corridor,” a scheme advanced by Baku to create a land corridor through Armenia connecting mainland Azerbaijan with Nakhichevan and Turkey.
Armenia has rejected the corridor proposal, but official Yerevan has been mum on what can be viewed as Ankara’s preconditions, with only a ruling party lawmaker saying that it did not view Turkey’s proposal as a precondition.