Türkiye hails Azerbaijan for refusing to attend Karabakh meeting

Türkiye hails Azerbaijan for refusing to attend Karabakh meeting

Türkiye appreciates Azerbaijan’s decision to skip peace talks with Armenia in Spain after the former requested that Turkish officials also attend it, Ömer Çelik, deputy chair of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and party spokesman, said at a news conference on Wednesday, according to Azerbaijan in Focus, reporting Daily Sabah.

“(Azerbaijani President) Mr. Aliyev canceled his visit to Spain because Türkiye’s participation was not accepted as a condition for the meeting. We want to express our appreciation for this,” he said.

“France, Germany, EU, and Armenia will attend the meeting. They invite Azerbaijan, but Türkiye is not there. Can you imagine?” he asked.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has refused to attend Thursday’s meeting on the Karabakh settlement in Granada, Spain, which is expected to include Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and leaders from the EU, France, and Germany.

Azerbaijan insisted on Türkiye’s participation, but Germany and France strongly opposed it, Azerbaijani news agencies reported on Wednesday, citing sources in the presidential administration.

Baku said it does not see the need to participate in negotiations of this format after pro-Armenian statements by French officials, a visit by French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna to Armenia, statements about the supply of weapons and ammunition, and accusations against Azerbaijan by EU Council President Charles Michel.

“Azerbaijan does not need such a format. Baku sees no need to discuss the problems of the region with countries far from the region,” the Azerbaijani Presidency was quoted as saying.

Çelik said the Minsk Group only does prolong the process in favor of the Armenian occupation.

“Karabakh has returned to its rightful owner, Azerbaijan,” he added.

While Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan fully supports Azerbaijan, he also has made a call that will contribute to the entire region, Çelik said.

“The absence of our President and Türkiye at this table means that they are uncomfortable with Karabakh returning to Azerbaijan,” he added.

“Aliyev’s decision not to go means a rejection of a lack of resolution.”

The Azerbaijani army initiated an antiterrorism initiative in Karabakh on Sept. 19 to establish constitutional order in the region.

Illegal Armenian armed forces in Karabakh surrendered after the 24-hour counter-terrorism steps.

Following such measures, Azerbaijan, having established full sovereignty in the region, has called on the Armenian population to become part of Azerbaijani society.