Ankara said that the Turkish Defense Minister, Hulusi Akar, stressed during a telephone conversation he had today with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Shoigu, “the necessity of Armenia’s withdrawal from the occupied Azerbaijani lands.”
The Turkish Ministry of Defense stated, in a statement, that Akar called on Monday with Shoigu, and during the call, “views were exchanged on Armenia’s attacks on Azerbaijan.”
According to the statement, Akar stressed that Armenia, which he claimed “launched an attack on the civilian population and violated the ceasefire regime, must stop its attacks and withdraw from the occupied territories.”
Akar pointed out that “Azerbaijan cannot wait another 30 years,” stressing Turkey’s support for Azerbaijan in its move to “regain control of its lands.”
On September 27, armed clashes erupted on the line of contact between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces in the Karabakh region and adjacent areas, in the most dangerous escalation between the two parties in more than 20 years, amid mutual accusations of starting hostilities and bringing in foreign militants.
Despite Russia and Armenia maintaining a formal mutual defense pact, analysts see little incentive for Russia to weigh too deeply into the long-running territorial dispute:
Turkey is considered a major ally of Azerbaijan, which is involved in the clashes against Armenian forces reportedly by transferring foreign mercenary (especially Syrian Islamists), but also allegedly through air support.
On October 10, Azerbaijan and Armenia reached an agreement at the level of foreign ministers by means of Russia to declare a ceasefire for humanitarian purposes, but later the two sides exchanged accusations of violating it.