Defense Minister Hulusi Akar called on Armenia to avoid hostility and focus on the future as he visited Azerbaijan on the anniversary of the Nagorno-Karabakh victory.
Attending the Nov. 8 Victory Day ceremonies in Baku with Chief of Staff Gen. Yaşar Güler, commander of the Land Forces Command Gen. Musa Avsever, Naval Forces Command Adm. Adnan Özbal, and commander of the Turkish Air Forces Command Gen. Hasan Küçükakyüz, Akar said he was happy to celebrate and share the joy of the Azerbaijani people.
Akar noted that the Armenian authorities need to set their current policies aside and take into consideration the suggestion for a six-member platform.
“Everybody should know that you cannot build a future based on hatred and enmity. Armenia should leave hostility behind and look to the future,” Akar said, noting that Turkey will continue to fulfill its responsibilities to ensure peace and stability in the region.
“The heroic Azerbaijani military’s victory did not only come as a result of a 44-daylong campaign, but a 30-year-old insistence, faith and resolution,” Akar said, adding that Turkey has stood beside Azerbaijan in its rightful struggle.
Akar also thanked Pakistan for its support to Azerbaijan during the Nagorno-Karabakh crisis as he hailed holding joint military drills with the country.
Meanwhile, Azerbaijani Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov hailed Turkey’s support during the liberation of Nagorno-Karabakh and the post-liberation reconstruction efforts.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Ilham Aliyev signed the Shusha Declaration, a pact focused on defense cooperation and establishing new transportation routes.
The agreement also affirms that Turkey and Azerbaijan will work together in the face of any external threat.
Relations between the former Soviet republics of Azerbaijan and Armenia have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.
New clashes erupted on Sept. 27, 2020, with the Armenian Army launching repeated attacks on civilians and Azerbaijani forces, violating several humanitarian cease-fire agreements.
During the 44-day conflict, Azerbaijan liberated several cities and some 300 settlements and villages that were illegally occupied by Armenia for nearly three decades.
The fighting ended on Nov. 10, 2020, after the two countries signed an agreement brokered by Russia.