President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey issued a veiled threat to Yerevan on Monday after he met with his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev in Nakhichevan, where the two hinted at advancing the so-called land corridor through Armenia.
Aliyev and Erdogan chose Nakhichevan as the venue for their meeting a week after Azerbaijani forces launched a massive offensive against Artsakh, causing further deaths of civilians, injuries and displacements of Artsakh residents.
In a press conference with Aliyev, Erdogan said that the two expect Armenia to accept the hand of peace it has been extended “and be sincere.”
“Following the recent victory [last week’s attack on Artsakh and the 2020 war], new windows of opportunity have been opened for a comprehensive normalization of the situation in the region. I believe this opportunity must be appreciated,” said Erdogan.
“We expect Armenia to accept the hand of peace extended to it and be sincere. As I have always emphasized, there is no loser in peace,” the Turkish leader said, adding that “the creation of peace, stability and prosperity in our region was our duty to our people.”
“We are determined to fulfill this duty and we are sincere. Our wish is for the other side to show the same sincerity,” Erdogan said.
During the joint press conference with Erdogan, Aliyev lamented that Soviet-era authorities had deemed part of what he said should have been territory belonging to the Azerbaijani Soviet republic as land belonging to the Armenian Soviet republic.
“The land link between the main part of Azerbaijan and Nakhchivan was thus cut off,” complained Aliyev.
Turkey and Erdogan have pushed for the opening of the so-called “Zangezur Corridor.”
Addressing the UN General Assembly last week, Erdogan complained that Armenia was squandering this “historic opportunity to build peace” in the South Caucasus region.
“[But] Armenia is not making the most of this historical chance.”
“We expect a comprehensive peace agreement between the two countries [Azerbaijan and Armenia] as soon as possible and for promises to be quickly fulfilled, especially on the opening of the Zangezur (land) corridor,” Erdogan told the General Assembly.
Erdogan also supported Azerbaijan’s attack on Artsakh last week.