Turkey issues statement backing Azerbaijan over Lachin Corridor, urges Armenia to support other supply routes

The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday (14 August) issued a statement backing Azerbaijan over the situation on the Lachin road and urging Armenia to support various Azerbaijani proposals in the ongoing peace process between the two countries.

"Türkiye is of the opinion that there is no legitimate ground for criticisms against Azerbaijan concerning the Lachin Road," the statement read.

Since December 2022 Azerbaijan has been criticised by many state and international actors - including the U.S., the EU, and Russia - of manufacturing an artificial humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh by gradually tightening the movement of people, vehicles and goods travelling to and from Armenia along the Lachin road, a situation characterised by many as a "blockade" of Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijan denies the claims.

"The fact that medical evacuations through Lachin Road are currently secured and other routes convenient for large-scale cargo transportations are allocated, indicates that Azerbaijani side exerts maximum effort in good faith," the statement continued.

"Our expectation from Armenia is to avoid provocative steps, to recognize territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan, to support both the usage of Aghdam-Khankendi and other alternative roads for supplying the needs of the Armenian population in Karabakh as well as to support Azerbaijan’s efforts to reintegrate the Armenian population," the Turkish Foreign Ministry said.

While Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has on multiple occasions verbally expressed his readiness to recognise the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan in the event of a peace treaty, efforts from Baku to force the issue of "reintegrating" the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh have been met with resistance from de facto authorities in Stepanakert.

An Azerbaijani proposal to supply Nagorno-Karabakh via a road from Aghdam was reportedly rejected by de facto authorities in Stepanakert, who insist on the Lachin road being fully reopened before entertaining other potential tandem supply routes to the region in the future. 

It has also been reported that de facto Nagorno-Karabakh representatives have rejected talks with Baku authorities, accusing them of trying "to impose their own political agenda [to reintegrate the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh into Azerbaijan] through coercion".

source: commonspace.eu with agencies
photo: AFP via RFE/RL