The Azerbaijani president said on Monday Turkey should participate in the process to resolve the Upper Karabakh conflict with Armenia.
“Turkey, with its strong position in the international community, should participate in the peace process in [Upper] Karabakh,” Ilham Aliyev told in an interview with TRT Haber, Turkey’s state-run news channel.
Underlining that Turkey's advanced armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) showed the country’s potential, Aliyev said the UAVs help drop the number of casualties in the conflict zone.
He also stressed that Armenia is trying to pull Russia into the war by attacking the Azerbaijani territories.
"Russia is acting like a responsible and big country regarding [Upper] Karabakh. There are positive messages from Russia and it is out of question that Russia will take any side,” he said.
Armenia's attacks on civilian settlements are unacceptable, he stressed, adding that the Ganja city is not a combat area.
“Armenians are living in Azerbaijan. We have no problem with the Armenian people. The Armenian people are the hostages of their own power,” he said, adding that they will live together in the Upper-Karabakh when the Armenian occupation policy is over.
Stressing that many settlements were liberated from the Armenian occupation, Aliyev said the army will ensure the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan by successfully continuing to perform its duty.
"Nagorno-Karabakh and other occupied territories are historical lands of Azerbaijan. These lands belong to Azerbaijan under the international law,” he added.
On negotiation calls from several countries, he said Armenia expects not just a cease-fire, but also guarantees beyond that.
Azerbaijan is in favor of peaceful solutions to the dispute, he said, adding that the country also demands an exact date for withdrawal of Armenian forces from the occupied territories.
Upper Karabakh conflict
The fighting began on Sept. 27, when the Armenian forces targeted civilian Azerbaijani settlements and military positions in the region, leading to casualties.
Relations between the two former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Upper Karabakh, an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan.
Multiple UN resolutions, as well as many international organizations, demand the withdrawal of the invading forces.
The OSCE Minsk Group -- co-chaired by France, Russia, and the US -- was formed in 1992 to find a peaceful solution to the conflict, but to no avail. A cease-fire, however, was agreed upon in 1994.
Many world powers, including Russia, France, and the US, have urged an immediate cease-fire. Turkey, meanwhile, has supported Baku's right to self-defense.
* Writing by Gozde Bayar in AnkaraAnadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.