Turkey urges int'l community to speak up over U.Karabakh
Armenian premier's statements on Upper Karabakh issue won't help negotiations, says Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay
The international community should speak up on the issue of the Armenian-occupied Azerbaijani territory of Upper Karabakh, Turkey’s vice president said on Monday.
Decrying recent statements by Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Turkey’s Fuat Oktay said: "I would like to stress that it is clear that such demagogic statements will not contribute to negotiations [over Karabakh] and the international community should not remain silent on this.”
Oktay, on an official visit to Azerbaijan’s capital Baku, stressed that Turkey has acted in close cooperation with Azerbaijan for a quarter of a century to end the occupation of about one-fifth of the territory of Azerbaijan.
"We see this as our national issue as much as it is for Azerbaijan," he told the Turkey-Azerbaijan Business Forum.
Upper Karabakh is internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan illegally occupied by Armenia through military aggression since 1991.
The Armenian occupation of the historical Azerbaijani lands led Turkey -- which sides with Baku in the conflict -- to close its frontier with Armenia.
Oktay said Turkey was the first country to recognize the independence of Azerbaijan, which it regained in 1991, calling it a result of the "eternal fellowship."
He also stressed that the spirit of brotherhood between the two countries grows stronger every day through collaboration, concrete projects, and high-level visits based on strategic vision.
"Today, Azerbaijan and Turkey are each other's most important political partners, leading trading partners, and investors," he said.
A half-dozen UN resolutions as well as decisions by many other international organizations demand the withdrawal of the occupying Armenian forces from Upper Karabakh and seven other occupied regions of Azerbaijan.
* Writing by Jeyhun AliyevAnadolu 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.