Erdogan visits Azerbaijan after Nagorno-Karabakh cease-fire
30 September 2023 | 10:12 am
The Turkish president met with his Azerbaijani counterpart in a show of support after Baku seized control of the separatist enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, which has a majority Armenian population.
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Azerbaijan's breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region has been cut off from much-needed supplies since December, when Azerbaijan closed the one road connecting the region to ally Armenia, saying it was an arms smuggling route.
Azerbaijan launched an "anti-terrorist" operation in the Armenia-backed breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh. Baku's government said a truce and talks were contingent on the enclave's unconditional surrender.
Baku's Defense Ministry earlier blamed six deaths in the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region on Armenian separatists. It comes three years after a war with neighboring Armenia over the region.
Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Armenia and Azerbaijan have been fighting for control of the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is mainly populated by Armenians but internationally recognised as lying within Azerbaijan's borders. A particularly bloody conflict in 2020 enabled Baku to recover a large part of the territory. Both countries have been accused of committing war crimes over the years.
In just a day, Azerbaijan was able to force ethnic Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh to disarm. Usually, Armenians would look to Russia for help, but Russian peacekeepers stayed well out of the recent conflict. Why?
Not for the first time, EU leaders are facing growing calls to take a firmer line with Azerbaijan. With a gas deal in place and myriad geopolitical considerations, hopeful Armenians shouldn't hold their breath.
Azerbaijan says it has sent tons of food aid and hygiene products to the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, days after a cease-fire was reached between Baku and ethnic Armenian separatists.
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