Erdogan Says NATO ‘Obliged’ to Side with Baku

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan walks past world leaders, including his Armenian and Azeri counterparts Serzh Sarkisian and Ilham Aliyev, at a NATO summit in Wales

NEWPORT, Wales (Vestnik Kavkaza)—NATO is obliged to fulfill the promises it has given to Azerbaijan, the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday at a NATO meeting in Wales. “The resolution of the Karabakh conflict within the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan is of great importance, and this conflict should be resolved,” Erdogan said.

Turkish experts told Vestnik Kavkaza that peace in the South Caucasus is very important to the new leadership of Turkey.

An expert on war and terrorism, Khaldun Yalcin Kaya, said that Turkey intends to participate actively in the conflict, taking into account the fact that Azerbaijan is its strategic partner.

A senior lecturer at the Department of International Relations, University of Economics and Technology TOBB (Ankara), Togrul Ismail, said that the settlement of the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh “would contribute to the development of Turkey.”

Responding to Turkey’s vows to protect Azerbaijan, Armenia’s President Serzh Sarkisian challenged NATO on Thursday, saying either peace will prevail in Karabakh or the continued threats of war will mar security in the region.

Saying that the Armenian people have felt threats to security on their skins and know the value of regional stability, Sarkisian said that those were the two options as NATO is scheduled to adopt a document Friday “that will be related to the security of my people and peace in our region.”

“There are two options. Either [the NATO Summit] will adopt the language of the OSCE Minsk Group, which is the only specialized international structure dealing with the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict — language that was proposed and supported by the Co-Chair countries that are represented here by France and the United States of America — or, upon the lobbying of another member state, it will pass again with an aim to save the face of our tyrant neighbor vis-a-vis his own people. Believe me the latter option will not lead to any positive results,” said Sarkisian.

“Either common sense and the desire for peace will have the upper hand, or the silent encouragement of xenophobia will deepen the war rhetoric and deadly provocations so easily brandished by Azerbaijan, which does not care about its soldiers’ lives and becomes encouraged with such statements,” added Sarkisian.

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