Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vows to continue supporting Azerbaijan 'to the end' in its struggle against illegal Armenian occupation of Nagorny Karabakh region
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to stand behind Azerbaijan to the end in the violent clashes with Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh region.
"We pray our Azerbaijani brothers will prevail in these clashes with the least casualties," Turkish President Erdogan told an Azerbaijani reporter during his visit to the United States.
He said, "We will support Azerbaijan to the end."
Karabakh, which lies inside of Azerbaijani territory has been occupied by ethnic Armenians who have been receiving heavy military and financial support from Armenia since their separatist movement took over the region in 1994 after three years of bloody clashes between Azerbaijanis and Armenians.
During the clashes on Friday and Saturday, 12 Azerbaijani soldiers were killed by Armenian forces.
Erdogan also criticised the Minsk Group and said, "The struggle over Nagorno-Karabakh, which has been occupied [by Armenia] for many years, is a result of the inability of the Minsk Group."
"If the Minsk Group had taken fair and decisive steps over this, we wouldn't have seen this incident happening right now. However, the weaknesses of the Minsk Group unfortunately led the situation to this point," he said.
The Minsk Group says it leads the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)'s efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia.