Turkey Downplays Concerns Over Air Show in Baku

ANKARA (Armenpress)–Turkey announced on Thursday that a scheduled visit by the country’s Chief of Staff General Huseyin Kivrikoglu to Azerbaijan was not related to recent conflicts in the Caspian Sea–reported IRNA citing the Anatolia news agency.

According to agency–an unnamed foreign ministry official said that the visit–which runs August 24-26–had been planned three months ago. According to Ankara–Kivrikoglu will visit Baku to attend the graduation ceremony of several Azerbaijani cadets of the country’s War Academy.

The event–will include a flight show of 10 F-16 warplanes–known as Turkish Stars–above Baku’s Freedom Square.

The aerial show–officials said–had been planned in May–long before the recent conflict between Iran and Azerbaijan.

According to the Anatolia news agency–Turkish foreign ministry officials were upset with the press over their portrayal of the visit as a "show of force" by Ankara in the Iran-Azerbaijan conflict. Such an interpretation from the visit–they have said–would "harm Turkey’s foreign policy." The Turkish government–has informed Iran of the visit–in order to discard any probable misunderstandings.

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