Azerbaijan only demands its occupied territories back but the Minsk Group, namely the U.S., France and Russia, are stalling the process, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Wednesday regarding the clashes between the Azerbaijani military and the Armenian separatists during his ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AK Party) group meeting at Parliament in Ankara.
“All the Minsk Group has to do is to make sure Azerbaijan gets its territories back,” he said.
The president also rejected the allegations of Syrian mercenaries’ presence in the Caucasus.
“No one talks about the weapons coming from Russia and France to Armenia, but Azerbaijan is being accused of using Syrian fighters,” he said.
“Syrians have work to do in their own country, they won't go there,” Erdoğan concluded.
In a phone call with European Council President Charles Michel on Monday, Erdoğan also touched upon the tensions in the Caucasus and called upon the European Union to have a coherent stance on Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity. He noted that the invading Armenian forces’ attacks on pipelines threaten Europe’s energy security.
The cease-fire between Azerbaijan and Armenia declared Saturday did not hold for even a full day, as Yerevan launched an attack on Azerbaijan's second-largest city, Ganja, less than 24 hours after the inking of the cease-fire. Armenian missiles Sunday hit civilian settlements in Ganja, where search and rescue efforts continue among the wreckage.
As a result of all these attacks, Azerbaijan's public chief prosecutor's office announced Monday that 41 civilians had been killed and 207 others injured. About 1,185 houses, 148 civilian facilities and 57 apartments have also been rendered useless in the attacks.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said Monday that the Minsk Group, set up in 1992 by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to mediate the conflict, was biased and that Turkey, which he described as a global power due to its involvement in Syria, Libya and other international conflicts, must be involved in the solution process.