NATO, Turkey and Israel support ethnic cleansing of Armenians

NATO Chief Praises Turkey’s Military Support for Azerbaijan

Turkey backed Azerbaijan’s attack on Nagorno-Karabakh, which ended in ethnic cleansing

March 19, 2024

During a visit to Azerbaijan over the weekend, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg praised Baku’s military relationship with Turkey, which helped Azerbaijan cleanse Nagorno-Karabakh of its ethnic Armenian population.

“The close cooperation between the Azerbaijani army and the Turkish armed forces will greatly contribute to the deepening of [Azerbaijan’s] relations with NATO,” Stoltenberg told Azerbaijan’s defense minister, according to Azeri media.

Turkey strongly backed Azerbaijan’s assault on Nagorno-Karabakh in 2020 by supplying weapons, and there’s evidence Ankara also sent mercenaries from Syria to help in the fight. Israel has also supplied Azerbaijan with weapons, including cluster bombs.

The US suspended military aid to Azerbaijan during the first Nagorno-Karabakh war in the 1990s but resumed it under a waiver in 2002. President Biden signed the waiver to continue providing aid to Azerbaijan in 2022 but did not do so in 2023 due to pressure from Congress.

Map showing Nagorno-Karabakh, formerly the Republic of Artsakh

Nagorno-Karabakh is a historically ethnic Armenian enclave within the borders of Azerbaijan, which were drawn by the Soviet Union when the country was a Soviet Republic. Azerbaijan gained territory around Nagorno-Karabakh during the 2020 war and launched a Turkish-backed assault to capture the enclave in September 2023 following a nine-month blockade.

The government of Nagorno-Karabakh, known as the Republic of Artsakh, quickly surrendered and agreed to dissolve in the face of the Azeri attack. Nagorno-Karabakh’s ethnic Armenian population of over 100,000 people then fled to Armenia.

During his visit to Baku, Stoltenberg said that “Armenia and Azerbaijan now have an opportunity to achieve an enduring peace after years of conflict” and called for Azerbaijan to “seize this opportunity to reach a lasting peace agreement with Armenia.”

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Stoltenberg visited Armenia on Tuesday and made similar comments. “I urge both countries to reach an agreement paving the way for normalization of relations,” he said.

Armenian President Nikol Pashinyan, who is seeking closer ties with the West, signaled on Monday that he is willing to cede more territory to Azerbaijan. He said that Azerbaijan could start a war over four disputed villages Armenia has controlled since the 1990s. “Now we can leave here, let’s go and tell [Azerbaijan] that no, we are not going to do anything. This means that at the end of the week, a war will begin,” he said.

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