Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has stepped forward to accuse a number of foreign powers of supplying weapons to Armenia, making this declaration as the ongoing armed conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh region continues for its third week.
Speaking at an event in Sirnak Province, Erdogan accused the Armenian side of breaching the recent ceasefire in the region.
"Why is Turkey siding with Azerbaijan? You know about the Minsk trio: The United States, Russia and France. Whose side are they on? They are with Armenia. Do they give Armenia all sorts of armed support? Yes, they do," the Turkish president was quoted by Hurriyet Daily News as saying.
He also insisted that Azerbaijan is "fighting to get its lands back from Armenia”, and that “the clashes have shown that the Azerbaijani army will surely be victorious".
Şırnak’ta yapımı tamamlanan projelerin toplu açılış törenini gerçekleştiriyoruz. https://t.co/jBD5BRIrja— Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (@RTErdogan) October 18, 2020
"The West is not on Azerbaijan’s side. It was once again Armenia that violated the ceasefire. Does the West speak up about it? But when Turkey speaks up about it, they complain ‘Turkey never keeps silent,’" Erdogan said.
The origins of the crisis date back to the fall of the Soviet Union, when the predominantly Armenian-populated Nagorno-Karabakh region declared independence from Azerbaijan in 1991 and announced plans to join Armenia, leading to a major armed conflict between Yerevan and Baku that lasted until 1994, when the sides agreed to attempt to settle the dispute via talks.
The current hostilities along the contact line in Nagorno-Karabakh has continued since 27 September, with both Armenian and Azerbaijani sides accusing each other of having fired the first shot.
Last week, after talks lasting 10 hours in Moscow, Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to a ceasefire that was slated to start at noon (local time) on 10 October, though both sides reported continued hostilities after the truce took effect.
A new ceasefire came into effect this weekend, with the warring sides immediately accusing one another of violating the truce.