Armenian FM points to ongoing Turkish military build-up in Azerbaijan

The recent clashes on Armenian-Azerbaijani border were a miscalculation by Baku, Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan said in an interview with “Al-Akhbar’’ newspaper.

“This showed that their current capacities do not match with their well known intentions,” the Minister said.

“It was an attempt by Azerbaijani side to show a military advantage over Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, which indeed was a failed one. The July battles demonstrated Armenia’s capacities to defend itself, its population and its borders. Moreover, the July battles vividly demonstrated that there can be no military solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” Minister Mnatsakanyan added.

Referring to Turkey’s role in fueling the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan?, the Minister said: “We have been witnessing Turkey’s destabilizing role not only in our region but in all other neighboring regions. The projection of power, intrusion and interference in the South Caucasian region do not contribute in any way to the peaceful resolution of the conflict and to regional peace, security and stability.”  

“During the battles in July, Turkey was the only country that was taking a one-sided supporting and fueling the maximalist approaches of Azerbaijan. That support was accompanied by a very aggressive approach toward Armenia and the Armenian people,” he said.  

First, the Minister noted, Turkey publicly encouraged Azerbaijan to take a harder stance against Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh by openly communicating its support, including in military matters. 

“Second, Turkey came up with military posturing against Armenia by initiating large scale military exercises in the vicinity of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh with very provocative moves,” Minister Mnatsakanyan said.

Third, he added, there is ongoing Turkish military build-up in Azerbaijan, which is strengthening and expanding their presence thereon.

“Fourth,  there are reports of recruitment of foreign terrorist fighters in Syria with aim to be transferred to Azerbaijan,” he said.

“We saw the outcome of similar behavior of Turkey in other regions which inflicted immense suffering on the people living in those regions. Thus, we have to be very vigilant in maintaining and strengthening regional peace and security.,” Armenia’s top diplomat stated.

He further noted that Turkey’s policy of denial of the Armenian Genocide has failed particularly in recent times. The new wave of recognition of the Armenian Genocide has been marked by both continuity and change on the perception of this issue. 

“This struggle for truth, historic justice and human rights has been ongoing for several decades in all continents. However, there is new emerging important dimension in recognition of the Armenian Genocide and that is the security threats posed by Turkey to its neighboring regions and peoples,” Zohrab MNatsakanyan said.

“Nobody wants history to repeat itself again and again and we need to acknowledge not merely the past but to prevent recurrences of new atrocities today and in future. A state and its leadership who justifies Genocide and supports terrorist groups engaged in identity based atrocities is threat which needs to be clearly defined as such,” he added.

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