Turkey rejects truce in Nagorno-Karabakh
The truce in Nagorno-Karabakh, which international mediators are calling for, will not lead to a settlement of the conflict, said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.
"We are hearing calls from all over the world, and they are all about an immediate ceasefire." And then what?" said Cavusoglu, who arrived in Baku on Wednesday.
"There has been a truce until now, what happened? There may be another truce, but what will be the result? Can you tell Armenia to leave Azerbaijani lands immediately? Can you come up with a solution for Armenia to leave? No, there have been the same appeals for 30 years," the Minister said.
Cavusoglu met with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Foreign Minister Ceyhun Bayramov and with each of them Cavusoglu reiterated that Turkey unconditionally supports Azerbaijan both on the battlefield and on the international stage.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, meanwhile, visited Nagorno-Karabakh and declared readiness for concessions if they are mutual.
"Conflict resolution must be based on mutual concessions... Nagorno-Karabakh is ready, and Armenia is ready for the same concessions that Azerbaijan will be ready for," Pashinyan told AFP.
He added that, if necessary, Russia will fulfill its obligations under the Collective Security Treaty with Armenia.
In the meantime, Moscow prefers not to interfere in the conflict, limiting its actions to diplomacy and expression of concern. "Russia is one of the countries that can be a mediator in the settlement of the conflict, but do not expect more active actions now," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Kommersant.
On Tuesday evening, after some calm, the sides reported new shelling of towns and villages on both sides of the front line in Nagorno-Karabakh. Authorities of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic announced that the capital Stepanakert had come under fire again. Azerbaijani media reported that Armenians shelled the villages in Agdam district.
In the evening, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry accused the Armenian Armed Forces of launching a missile attack on the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, which is carrying oil to Turkey.
The Armenian Foreign Ministry called the statement "another lie, which primarily seeks to justify the prolonged shelling of peaceful settlements in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) and Armenia."
According to BBC News, Azerbaijani forces are using Turkish Bayraktar TB2 drones used in Syria during Operation Spring Shield in February 2020, and before that in Libya, where the Kremlin-backed Marshal Khalifa Haftar was forced to lay down his arms due to Turkish intervention.
According to official data, 240 people have been killed on the Armenian side since the beginning of the conflict. Azerbaijan does not disclose its combat losses and reports only about the dead civilians. On Tuesday, according to official data, there were 28 people killed on Azerbaijani side .