Turkey builds plans for April 24

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has reiterated his support for  Azerbaijan, underlining that “Ankara will continue to back Azerbaijan on the issue of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” Today’s Zaman reports.

“I would like to mention this once again: we will continue to extend our support for Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict so that it finds its solution in the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan,” Erdoğan said in a joint press conference held with his Azerbaijani counterpart in Ankara on Thursday.

Underlining the failure of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group established in the early 1990s to settle the Nagorno-Karabakh, Erdoğan said, “Turkey is extremely sensitive towards this issue and as Turkey, our position is explicit. It is not possible at all that we will step back from this point [backing Azerbaijan].”

He also noted the importance of a strategic partnership between Turkey and Azerbaijan in the spheres of both defense and energy. Saying that his meeting with Aliyev was “comprehensive and a sincere exchange of views,” Erdoğan said that both leaders discussed a number of issues, ranging from bilateral relations to regional and international developments.

“Azerbaijan will be strong as long as Turkey is powerful,” Aliyev said, extending his gratitude to Ankara’s continuing support in what he called “justice and international law,” hinting to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

In return, Erdoğan has invited Aliyev to an event marking the 93rd anniversary of the Battle of Gallipoli in Turkey’s Çanakkale province on April 24 – a date coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

The joint press conference came after a head-to-head meeting between the two leaders, in which the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the 100th anniversary of the events in 1915 and also energy policies in the region were discussed.

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