Armenia must accept field realities in Karabakh: Ankara
Turkey on Dec. 28 denounced a recent cease-fire violation and attack on Azerbaijani servicemen and civilians by Armenian forces in Nagorno-Karabakh.
“The attacks carried out in Upper Karabakh [Nagorno-Karabakh] against the Azerbaijani armed forces by the Armenian elements, who refused to lay down their arms and withdraw, are a clear violation of the cease-fire regime established by the Trilateral Declaration dated Nov. 9, 2020,” Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hami Aksoy said in a statement.
The Armenian elements – a detachment of six remnants of the Armenian armed forces – violated the cease-fire in Nagorno-Karabakh on Sunday and martyred an Azerbaijani soldier in the direction of Aghdam (Akaku) village in the Khojavend region, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said Monday.
“Military and civilian casualties and injuries occurred as a result of the attacks of Armenian armed elements, which took place earlier on Nov. 26, Dec. 8 and Dec.11, and the latest one on Dec. 27. As the signatory of the Trilateral Declaration, the primary responsibility for the withdrawal of all armed Armenian elements and compliance with the cease-fire regime lies in Armenia,” Aksoy said.
He stressed that the Azerbaijani side gave the “necessary response” by using its right of self-defense against the “provocations” of the Armenian armed elements.
“In order to be a stakeholder of the lasting peace that is trying to be established in the region, Armenia must accept the realities in the field and fulfill the commitments it has undertaken with the Trilateral Declaration,” he added.
Aksoy also wished Allah’s mercy upon the “Azerbaijani brothers” who lost their lives in the attacks, a speedy recovery to the wounded, and extended condolences to all Azerbaijani people.
Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said on Twitter that as a result of the actions taken, all six members of the illegal Armenian armed group were “annihilated” and also warned against “firm measures” by the Azerbaijani army if such an incident happens again.
Liberation of Karabakh
Relations between the former Soviet republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, recognized as Azerbaijani territory, and seven adjacent regions.
When new clashes erupted on Sept. 27, the Armenian army launched attacks on civilians and Azerbaijani forces and violated several humanitarian cease-fire agreements.
During the 44-day conflict, Azerbaijan liberated several cities and nearly 300 settlements and villages from the nearly three-decade-long occupation.
The two countries signed a Russia-brokered agreement on Nov. 10 to end the fighting and work toward a comprehensive resolution.
However, the Armenian army violated the cease-fire on Dec. 13 and martyred three Azerbaijani soldiers in Khojavend’s Sur village and a soldier and a civilian near the town of Hadrut, according to the Defense Ministry.
The truce is seen as a victory for Azerbaijan and a defeat for Armenia, whose armed forces have been withdrawing in line with the agreement.
This article originally appeared in Hurriyet Daily News on 29 Dec 2020.