Baku. 5 April. REPORT.AZ/ sident Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Monday repeated his assertion that Turkey backs Azerbaijan in its struggle against Armenian militias that continue attacks in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region despite the unilateral cease-fire declared by Baku.
Report informs referring to the Turkish media, speaking at the Turkish Red Crescent Council, Erdoğan said: "The fire of Armenia's massacres in Karabakh continues to burn in our hearts." Touching on the killing of 12 Azerbaijani soldiers by Armenian militias, he said: "Karabakh will surely be returned to its rightful owner, Azerbaijan, one day."
Turkey declared its unconditional support for Baku when the clashes broke out in Nagorno-Karabakh. In addition to Erdoğan, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and National Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz harshly condemned the Armenian militias. Azerbaijan said three of its soldiers were killed on Monday in clashes over the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region in a third day of renewed violence that risks turning the "frozen conflict" into all-out war. Ex-Soviet states Azerbaijan and Armenia fought a war over Nagorno-Karabakh in the 1990s that ended with a fragile truce. That was broken over the weekend with the most ferocious fighting in years, killing dozens of people on both sides.
Although Azerbaijan declared cease-fire, Armenian militias continued to attack Azeri military units. Armenia threatened Azerbaijan and said if the clashes continue it would formally recognize Nagorno-Karabakh as independent from Azerbaijan, and formalize Armenian military aid to the separatists.