Turkish ambassador: To find cause of Azerbaijani-Armenian tension, one should start from occupation

Baku: Russia is an important partner of Turkey in this region and is an important country of the region. It’s a state capable of contributing to the elimination of any problem [as well as] the fight against ISIL. But when looking into the steps Russia is taking and the operations it’s carrying out, we see they are not targeting ISIL and on the contrary they are trying to strengthen the borders of territories controlled by the Assad administration. We see most of the airstrikes are not targeting ISIL, Turkish ambassador to Azerbaijan Ismayil Alper Coskun said in an interview with APA.

The ambassador said Turkey is trying to explain Russia that these steps are not going to help get rid of ISIL which threatens Russia, and on the contrary will bolster ISIL.

“We welcome the fight of an important country like Russia against ISIL, but we see that it has not been targeting ISIL in the operations. We tell the Russians of its possible consequences. On several occasions, Russian warplanes violated Turkey’s airspace. This is an extremely dangerous situation. We informed them in the strongest way of our sensitivity in this regard. We cannot accept any violation of our airspace. And they sent a military delegation to Turkey to explain what had caused the misunderstanding and what measures they had taken not to allow it to happen again,” he said.

The diplomat noted that the main issue is to eliminate the conditions that strengthen terrorist organizations like ISIL.

“These conditions unfortunately rely on the policy of Assad’s administration. Both bilateral and multilateral meetings are taking place in this respect. The Saudi Arabian, Russian, U.S., and Turkish foreign ministers have recently held a meeting on the Syrian crisis in Vienna. Turkey’s expectations in regard to the Syria issue are apparent. Its main expectation is the protection of Syria’s territorial integrity and the restoration of its stability and security. It’s more than clear that the Assad administration lies at the heart of this problem. The reason for the creation of a terrorist environment and escape of millions of people out of the country is the policy of the Assad administration. After the fall of the Assad administration, the legitimate governments must be formed with the consent of all the opposition forces.

– With regard to the recent escalation of tension on the contact line Azerbaijani and Armenian borders and along the Azerbaijani-Armenian border, as well as Armenia’s blaming the Azerbaijani side for using Turkish-made weapons, the ambassador said.

– To find cause of Azerbaijani-Armenian tension, one should start from occupation. Armenia continues occupation. Similarly, when seeking the reason for the terror, we need to look at the reasons that create it. The cause of the tension is the occupation. Let Armenia not to lay the blame of its policy on other countries, including Turkey. This is unacceptable. Secondly, if Armenia speaks about the armament, let it look at the contracts $200 mln that it concluded recently, and the weapons systems it plans to purchase. However, let put all these aside. The whole international community should see that this is not a frozen conflict, but a lasting mistake that can lead to bigger problems at any time in the region and the continuous violation of international law. Thus, this is a conflict that the international community is responsible for its solution. Though Armenia claims otherwise, the Republic of Turkey is ready to contribute to a peaceful settlement of the conflict with a serious and constructive responsibility. In this regard, our solidarity with Azerbaijan is full and will last. Like the Azerbaijani officials, we also continue to deliver Azerbaijan’s rights under international law to the international community. If indeed we wish peace, stability and tranquility in this region, and our target is the people’s welfare and security, then the occupation must be ended,” he said.