YEREVAN—Armenia’s Deputy Foreign Minister on Sunday slammed Ankara for supporting Baku’s aggression against the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that he backed Azerbaijan “to the end.”
Erdogan made the comments after Azerbaijan launched a large-scale attack on Karabakh position on April 1 and 2, killing 18 soldiers and civilians, including a 12-year-old boy, Vaghinak Grigoryan, who was hit by a Grad missile in his schoolyard in Martuni. Two other children, including Grigoryan’s brother were injured in the schoolyard.
Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharyan said that Erdogan’s comments encouraged Azerbaijan to continue its aggression in the region.
“It’s a pity that for Turkey the importance of human lives is determined by nationality. With such racist statements, Turkey encourages the continuation of the aggressor’s action against the Nagorno- Karabakh Republic,” Kocharyan said.
“We pray our Azerbaijani brothers will prevail in these clashes,” Erdogan said in response to Azerbaijan’s attacks on Karabakh over the weekend, which claimed the lives of 18 soldiers and other civilians, including children. He also pledged Turkey’s support for Azerbaijan “to the end.”
“The Turkish president expressed his support and solidarity in relation to the events on the contact line between Armenian and Azerbaijani [forces] and stressed that the Turkish people will always be with the people of Azerbaijan,” the Azeri president’s press service said in a statement after Erdogan had a telephone conversation with Aliyev.
Erdogan also criticized the OSCE Minsk Group, the international body tasked for negotiating a peaceful resolution to the Karabakh conflict.
“If the Minsk Group had taken fair and decisive steps over this, such incidents would not have happened. However, the weaknesses of the Minsk Group unfortunately led the situation to this point,” Erdogan told an Azeri reporter.
Azerbaijan’s ambassador to Moscow, Polad Bulbuloglu said Azerbaijan is ready to switch from a diplomatic to a military solution vis-à-vis Karabakh.
“The attempts of a peaceful solution to this conflict have been underway for 22 years. How much more will it take? We are ready for a peaceful solution to the issue. But if it’s not solved peacefully then we will solve it by military means,” Bulbuloglu told Govorit Moskva radio station.