BEIRUT, LEBANON (6:30 P.M.) – The Turkish forces arrived in Azerbaijan on Tuesday to participate in joint military exercises between the two countries, after days of escalation between the Armenian and Azerbaijani armies in the Karabakh region.
A ceremony was held to receive the Turkish soldiers at the Umit Bridge at the Sidirik border crossing of the Republic of Nakhchivan, after the Turkish force arrived in Baku with a Turkish Air Force plane.
The ceremony included the playing of the Turkish and Azerbaijani national anthems, after which Turkish soldiers were stationed in the military units in the capital, Baku and Nakhchivan.
On July 29, the Turkish and Azerbaijani armed forces will begin comprehensive military exercises in Azerbaijan, which will last for 13 days.
The exercises will include tests of warplane readiness between the two countries, and include the regions of Baku, the capital, Nakhchivan, Kanjeh, Kordimir, and Yulakh.
Also during the maneuvers, the readiness of the forces will be tested on the implementation of military command orders, and the firing from armored vehicles, artillery and mortars “at hypothetical enemy targets”.
Simultaneously, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavusoglu said that Armenia had taken advantage of the coronavirus outbreak to launch its latest attacks against Azerbaijani lands.
The Turkish minister, on Tuesday, during a participation in an event on the environment through video conferencing technology, explained that health systems and economies are in a difficult situation due to the coronavirus epidemic, and that racist tendencies and discrimination have increased.
“We can also benefit from the period of fighting the epidemic for dialogue and peace. The conflict in Afghanistan is an example of this, as we renew our call to all parties to stop hostilities and focus on fighting the epidemic.”
He added: “And at a time when everyone is waiting for the clashes to stop during the epidemic period, and to benefit from them for dialogue and peace, Armenia will act in a manner that contradicts this and by using the epidemic period through its recent attacks on Azerbaijani lands.”
Cavusoglu had previously warned Armenia against attacking the Azeri forces, vowing to help the latter if they request support.
The Turkish minister pointed out that “Armenia, through its attacks, wants to deflect attention from the lands it occupies, and seeks to form new conflict areas, and does not accept any solution.”
He stressed that “his country will provide the necessary support to Azerbaijan, and will stand by its side with all capabilities in order to preserve the territorial integrity of its lands.”