Turkey vows to support Azerbaijan in war for Nagorno-Karabakh

Turkey is ready to provide military support to Azerbaijan in the conflict with Armenia, said Foreign Minister Mevlut Chavushoglu, reports Anadolu news agency.

"Turkey is ready to support Azerbaijan both at the negotiating table and on the battlefield," said the Turkish Foreign Minister.

Ankara sees the attack on Azerbaijan as an attack on Turkey, said Mehmet Mehdi Eker, deputy head of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

The day before, Baku was supported by Turkish President Recep Erdogan, who said that it is necessary "to end Armenia's occupation of Azerbaijani lands."

"It's time to pay the bills. Otherwise, Armenia will continue to be self-willed. It must withdraw from the occupied lands. Everyone knows that these are the lands of Azerbaijan," he said, speaking in Istanbul.

Fighting between Azerbaijani and Armenian troops over the disputed territory involving tanks, aviation and artillery continues for a third day, and the scale of the hostilities has been a record since the 1992-94 war, in which about 30,000 people died and more than a million became refugees.

The Ministry of Defense of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic said 84 Armenian servicemen had been killed since the fighting began. A number of positions lost during the early clashes were recaptured, Nagorno-Karabakh President Araik Harutyunyan said.

Secretary of the Armenian Security Council Armen Grigoryan had a telephone conversation with the Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Nikolai Patrushev and, as RIA Novosti reports, announced the possibility that the armed conflict could spill over to the territory of Armenia.

This could lead to the activation of the Collective Security Treaty and the need for military assistance from Russia, which has a base in Gyumri in Armenia.

The Kremlin's official position remains restrained and is limited to calls for a cease-fire. China, the United States and the European Union have also called for a halt to the fighting.

On Tuesday, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov, when asked whether Russia is ready to provide military support to Yerevan after Turkey supported Azerbaijan, answered evasively. "Any statements about any military activity definitely add fuel to the fire. We are categorically against such activity. We call on all countries to stop and return to a peaceful resolution of the conflict in political and diplomatic ways," Peskov said.

  Nagorno-Karabakh, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia

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