Turkey ‘Will Stand Shoulder to Shoulder’ with Azerbaijan

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (left) and Azeri President Ilham Aliyev

BAKU—Turkey and Azerbaijan will work “shoulder to shoulder” to settle regional conflicts, Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Friday in Baku.

The newly-appointed Turkish leader – formerly Turkey’s foreign minister — was speaking at a joint press conference following a meeting with President Ilham Aliyev in the Azerbaijani capital Baku.

Regarding the long-running Nagorno-Karabakh dispute, Davutoglu said, “Turkey will stand by Azerbaijan’s struggle until the last centimeter of its territory is liberated.”

“Turkey and Azerbaijan will work shoulder to shoulder until the wider region is converted into a region of peace and requirements of international law are fulfilled,” he said.

“If Azerbaijan feels any pain, the same is felt in Turkey’s heart.”

The Turkish Prime Minister was referring to the most recent clashes on the border of Artsakh and Azerbaijan in late July, where a number of soldiers from the Azerbaijani side and some from the Armenian side were killed.

“When neighboring regions and the world are observed and two success stories are to be told, Turkey and Azerbaijan are the two success stories in the Middle East, Balkans, Caucasus and all Eurasia,” Davutoglu added.

The last agreement for a peaceful settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was signed in Moscow in 2008. Armenia and Azerbaijan originally signed a ceasefire in 1994 but never agreed a peace settlement. The two countries currently do not have diplomatic relations.

A ground breaking ceremony for the high-profile Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline project will be held on Saturday. Aliyev said, “September 20 is a historic day for us. We had signed the project of the 20th century 20 years ago on 20 September; we are starting the project of the 21st century in which Turkey and Azerbaijan have assumed a major role.”

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