Azerbaijani, Turkish defence chiefs eye Armenia provocations
By Vafa Ismayilova
Azerbaijani Defence Minister Zakir Hasanov and his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar have discussed Armenia's latest provocations on the state border, the Defence Ministry has reported.
In a telephone conversation that took place on November 16, Hasanov informed Akar of the committed provocations and the situation on the state border.
The Azerbaijani minister said that "these steps of the opposing side were resolutely suppressed", the report added.
In turn, Akar said that "today Turkey supports Azerbaijan as it always does".
Earlier, in a telephone conversation with European Council President Charles Michel, President Ilham Aliyev said that Armenia had repeatedly resorted to military provocations in the direction of Shusha, Lachin and Kalbajar, and that Armenia’s latest large-scale attack took place on November 16.
Pointing to the wounded on the Azerbaijani side, Aliyev stressed that an adequate response was given to Armenia's provocations. He noted that all the responsibility for the present situation lies on Armenia's military and political leadership.
On November 16, the Foreign Ministry press service underlined that Armenia's latest steps were aimed at aggravating the situation on the border purposefully.
“Thus, illegal visit of the former Armenian Defence Minister [Arshak Karapetyan] to the territories of Azerbaijan, where Russian peacekeeping contingent is temporarily deployed and holding military meetings there, the concentration of about 60 personnel of the Armenian armed forces on the road leading to the Azerbaijani army positions in Lachin, as well as intensive shelling of the Azerbaijani Army's positions in Kalbajar and Lachin by the Armenian armed forces show that the Armenian side is purposefully aggravating the situation," the press service added.
It underlined that Armenia's latest moves show that it is not interested in ensuring regional peace, security and border delimitation.
The escalation of tension between Azerbaijan and Armenia has been observed since November 13, 2021, when several Azerbaijani servicemen were wounded in the attack committed by members of illegal Armenian armed formations near Shusha city on the Azerbaijani territory currently under Russian peacekeepers' temporary control.
The Azerbaijani army positions in liberated Kalbajar and Lachin regions have been under Armenian fire since the evening of November 13.
A Moscow-brokered ceasefire deal that Baku and Yerevan signed on November 10, 2020, brought an end to six weeks of fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani army declared a victory against the Armenian troops. The signed agreement obliged Armenia to withdraw its troops from the Azerbaijani lands that it had occupied since the early 1990s.
The peace agreement stipulated the return of Azerbaijan's Armenian-occupied Kalbajar, Aghdam and Lachin regions. Before the signing of the deal, the Azerbaijani army had liberated around 300 villages, settlements, city centers, and historic Shusha city.