BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:00 A.M.) – Turkish Vice President Fuad Oktay said that his country will send troops to the Karabakh region between Azerbaijan and Armenia, if Baku requests it.
Oktay said in an interview with CNN Turk: “The President (Recep Tayyip Erdogan) announced our position from day one. Turkey will not hesitate, and especially the president will not hesitate.”
Iktay’s comments came at a time when Armenian President Armen Sarkisian called on Turkey not to be a party to the Karabakh conflict.
On Wednesday, Sarkisyan said in a meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg that a ceasefire in Karabakh and the start of peace talks would be possible if Turkey stops interfering in the conflict.
He said, “This conflict is not only between the Armenian side and Azerbaijan, there is a third country that supports Azerbaijan both militarily and diplomatically. This country is Turkey, which also brings terrorists to the region.”
The Armenian president said, “Unfortunately, this country is a member of NATO. If Turkey stops being a party to the conflict, I think we will reach a ceasefire and we will be able to sit at the negotiating table and find a peaceful solution.”
Sarkisian expressed his country’s deep appreciation for the efforts of the co-chairs of the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, as well as the efforts of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
In his speech, the Armenian President also touched on the relations between NATO and Armenia, stressing that Armenia has proven itself over the years as a reliable partner of NATO.
On September 27, armed clashes erupted on the line of contact between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces in the Nagorno Karabakh region and adjacent areas, in the most dangerous escalation between the two parties in decades, amid mutual accusations of starting the hostilities.