Turkey and France Exchanged Harsh Comments on Nagorny Karabakh

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Macron condemned Ankara ’s "militant" remarks while Cavusoglu said that the position of Paris is tantamount to supporting Armenian occupation. NATO allies France and Turkey exchanged harsh comments amid growing international tensions over the escalation of the Nagorny Karabakh conflict. On the fourth day of clashes, Azerbaijan and ethnic-Armenian-populated Nagorny Karabakh accused each other of shelling the contact line dividing them. The conflict has spread far beyond the enclave, threatening to turn into a full-scale war between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Dozens of deaths and hundreds of injured were reported. There are also fears growing that the major regional powers - Russia and Turkey may be involved in the conflict. Some of Turkey's NATO allies are concerned about Ankara's stance on Nagorny Karabakh. On Wednesday, answering the question of whether Ankara is ready to provide military support to Azerbaijan, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Turkey "will do everything necessary." Cavusoglu also said that France's solidarity with Armenia is tantamount to supporting the Armenian occupation of Azerbaijan. French President Emmanuel Macron, whose country is home to many people of Armenian origin, responded with criticism during his visit to Latvia. He said that France is extremely concerned about Turkey's "bellicose remarks", "which, in fact, eliminate any factors hindering Azerbaijan on the way to recapture Nagorny Karabakh." “And we will not allow this,” he stressed. Meanwhile, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan had a telephone conversation with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (recall that Iran borders both Armenia and Azerbaijan). The Armenian government said Rouhani expressed concern about the escalation of tensions. Pashinyan said that at this stage he was not considering the possibility of asking Russia for help within the framework of the post-Soviet security treaty, but did not rule out that he would do it. According to Pashinyan, in the Tuesday telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the possibility of Russian military intervention was not discussed. Recall, recently the US State Department expressed concern over reports of large-scale hostilities along the demarcation line in the conflict zone in Nagorno-Karabakh, which led to significant losses, including among civilians. “We express our condolences to the families of those killed and wounded,” the US Foreign Office said in a statement. The document noted that Washington strongly condemned the ongoing escalation of violence. It was reported that Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Bigan called Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov and Armenian Foreign Minister Zorab Mnatsakanyan and urged both sides to immediately stop hostilities and use existing communication channels between them to prevent further escalation.