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Iran Press TV

Nagorno-Karabakh truce efforts bound to fail unless Armenia withdraws: Turkey

Iran Press TV

Friday, 09 October 2020 2:17 PM

Turkey says efforts toward a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh are bound to fail unless a withdrawal of Armenian forces from the territory is ensured.

Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin made the remark on Friday, after Russia said Armenia and Azerbaijan had agreed to attend peace negotiations in Moscow on Monday.

The talks, aimed at ending the ongoing fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, have been mediated by France, the United States, and Russia.

"If they're calling only for a ceasefire, if they're working only toward a ceasefire, it will be nothing more than a repeat of what went on for the last 30 years or so," Kalin said. "It is almost certain to fail if it doesn't also involve a detailed plan to end the occupation."

Washington, Paris, and Moscow have led mediation over Karabakh for almost three decades as co-chairs of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)'s Minsk Group, but they have failed to settle the conflict.

The sticking point is four United Nations (UN) resolutions that call for the unconditional withdrawal of military forces from the occupied territory, as Armenia prefers to maintain the status quo.

Turkey condemns the Armenian occupation of Azeri lands in Nagorno-Karabakh, vowing full solidarity with Azerbaijan. It has also repeatedly criticized efforts by the Minsk Group to achieve a ceasefire in the region, saying the group has done nothing in nearly 30 years of talks.

The recent fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenian forces, the worst in decades, erupted on September 27, with each side accusing the other of instigating the violence.

On Friday, the two sides fought new clashes, with Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry saying there had been fierce fighting during the night along the line of contact that divides the two sides in Karabakh.

For years, the two neighbors have been locked in a conflict over Azerbaijan's breakaway, mainly ethnic Armenian region of Nagorno-Karabakh. A ceasefire agreed in 1994 failed to end the conflict.

The warring sides have ignored repeated calls to cease military hostilities.

Nagorno-Karabakh is internationally recognized as part of the Republic of Azerbaijan, but it has been under Armenia's control since the early 1990s. The territory declared independence from Azerbaijan in 1991.

Azeri President Ilham Aliyev's main demand for a ceasefire is for Armenia to set a timetable for a withdrawal from Karabakh.

Armenia has ruled out a withdrawal from the territory and instead accused Turkey of military involvement in the conflict.

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