Turkey will continue to stand by Azerbaijan in its "just cause," Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said Tuesday referring to the country's rivalry with its neighbor Armenia over the region of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Akar met with his Azerbaijani counterpart Zakir Hasanov in Istanbul, on the sidelines of the 15th International Defense Industry Fair, one of the world's largest global defense events.
Bilateral relations, regional defense and security cooperation were discussed at the meeting that was held in a warm and friendly atmosphere.
Also on the agenda were harassment and attacks by Armenia on the border with Azerbaijan. Akar stressed that Turkey would continue to stand by Azerbaijan in its "just cause."
Azerbaijan recently accused Armenia of continuing with armed provocations, as Armenian forces fired upon Azerbaijani army positions in different locations, Baku's Defense Ministry said.
Spotlighted during the fair were Turkish drones, which many observers have credited with helping Azerbaijan liberate occupied land from Armenia last fall.
Relations between the former Soviet republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, internationally recognized as Azerbaijani territory, and seven adjacent regions.
When new clashes erupted on Sept. 27, 2020, 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 occupation.
A joint Turkish-Russian center was established to monitor the truce. Russian peacekeeping troops have also been deployed to the region.
Ankara has pledged its full support to Baku in its efforts to liberate its lands from Armenian occupation.
Despite a Nov. 10 deal last year ending the conflict, the Armenian army several times violated the agreement and killed several Azerbaijani soldiers and a civilian, and wounded several others, according to the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry.
Also during the defense fair, Akar also met with Libyan Chief of General Staff Muhammad Ali Ahmad al-Haddad.
During the meeting, which focused on bilateral and regional defense and security issues, Akar underlined the importance of the 500-year brotherhood between the two countries.
Turkey will continue to stand by the Libyan people in their just cause with the understanding that "Libya belongs to the Libyans," said Akar.
In fall 2019, Turkey and Libya signed a security cooperation agreement.
Turkey also stood with Libya's internationally-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) in its fight against the eastern-based illegitimate forces of putschist Gen. Khalifa Haftar.
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