Statement by the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Artsakh
Turkey has long and actively been trying to use the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict to advance its destructive foreign policy agenda in the South Caucasus by not only expressing publicly unconditional solidarity with Azerbaijan, but also providing direct support to Azerbaijan, including military. However, if in the past Turkey played the role of a shadow puppeteer who directed the actions of Azerbaijan, now Ankara is directly involved in the internationally wrongful acts of the Azerbaijani authorities against the people of Artsakh, encouraging the criminal actions of Baku, providing military-political and informational support, providing with weapons, in particular, unmanned aerial vehicles and multiple launch rocket systems, sending military specialists and recruiting mercenaries from the Middle East to use them in the war against the Republic of Artsakh. A vivid example of Turkey’s aggressive behaviour is the destruction of an Armenian aircraft by a Turkish F-16 fighter jet in the airspace of the Republic of Armenia.
The level of Turkey’s dangerous role in the region is increasing amid its leadership’s growing expansionist ambitions based on phantom memories of the empire that, during its last days, carried out the first genocide of the XXth century - Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923. Together with ambitions, the current Turkish authorities inherited from the empire that had sunk into oblivion not only its policy, but also the criminal methods and means of its implementation. It is noteworthy that the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict emerged in 1918 precisely as a result of the military intervention of Turkish troops in the South Caucasus. In continuation of the Armenian Genocide, Turkish troops invaded Artsakh in 1918 and massacred the Armenian population of Shushi. However, all their attempts to subjugate Artsakh to briefly independent Azerbaijan resulted in complete failure. A little over a hundred years later, Turkey is trying to turn history back.
Turkey's significant role in the crimes committed by Azerbaijan against the people of Artsakh is well-documented and beyond any doubt. Ankara is responsible not only for using Azerbaijani authorities to commit crimes, but also for controlling and directing the criminal acts both at the stages of preparation and commission. Turkey's actions in the context of the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict are more than merely supporting and inciting Azerbaijan to commit new crimes. Such a position of the Turkish leaders represents an integral part of their criminal behaviour and proves the existence of an agreement between Turkey and Azerbaijan on achieving a common goal through concerted measures, as well as a joint control over the implementation of their aggressive plans. The international community should fully understand that Turkey, along with Azerbaijan, bears the responsibility for undermining regional peace and security, and thus should be held equally accountable for consistent violations of international law and the UN Charter.
All these actions by Turkey make it impossible to see it as a member of the OSCE Minsk Group. Turkey should not be involved in any activities related to the implementation of the OSCE-led mediation mission aimed at resolving the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict, and should be excluded from the OSCE Minsk Group, for its presence in this international mediation structure equals to encouraging destructive and criminal activities aimed at unleashing a war against the Republic of Artsakh.
We emphasize yet again that in the situation whereby Azerbaijan, led by Turkey, ignores the calls of the international community for immediate cessation of hostilities, and consistently refuses to resolve the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict exclusively by peaceful means, the international recognition of the Republic of Artsakh will become international community’s collective contribution to the restoration of regional peace and security and create conditions for resolving all remaining issues through negotiations.
Moreover, the recognition of the solid legal grounds and legitimate results of the realization by the people of Artsakh of their inalienable right to self-determination will become an effective factor in deterring the Turkish-Azerbaijani genocidal policy towards the Republic of Artsakh, which apparently neither Baku or Ankara are willing to abandon.
We believe that the international recognition of the Republic of Artsakh fully complies with the political and humanitarian obligations of the civilized world, especially of the countries that recognized and condemned the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923.