ANKARA — Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has vowed Armenia will be “brought to account” for its “attack” on Azerbaijan, saying Turkey is closely following developments in the region, Hurriet daily reports.
Akar met with Azerbaijani Deputy Defense Minister and Commander of Air Forces Ramiz Tahirov on July 16.
“The pain of the Azeri Turks is our pain,” he told reporters during the meeting.
Turkey “condemns this villainous attack,” the minister stated, adding that the move “goes over Armenia’s head.”
“They will be left under the trouble they started. They will be drowned under this plot and certainly pay for what they have done,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Turkish Foreign Ministry on July 16, slammed statements from Armenia which Ankara says was a “smear campaign” against Turkey.
“This hypocritical attitude of Armenia, which has maintained an illegitimate occupation in the territory of Azerbaijan for many years, clearly and obviously reveals who the main obstacle to the establishment of permanent peace and stability in the South Caucasus is,” the ministry said in a statement.
Turkey has also declared military assistance to Azerbaijan.
“Our armed unmanned aerial vehicles, ammunition and missiles with our experience, technology and capabilities are at Azerbaijan’s service,” said Ismail Demir, the head of Presidency of Defense Industries, an affiliate of the Turkish Presidency in a statement.
“We need to show the world that the two brother countries are in full unity. One nation, two states,” Demir wrote on Twitter after the meeting with Azerbaijani Deputy Defense Minister Ramiz Tahirov and Army Commander of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic Kerem Mustafayev.
He stressed that Turkey will lend new defense systems to Azerbaijan and will work together with Baku for the modernization, maintenance and repair of the country’s defense systems.
The Armenian Foreign Ministry responded by issuing a strongly-worded statement that branded Turkey a “security threat to Armenia and the region.”
“Invoking its ‘historical mission’ and ethnic or religious affiliations, Turkey has already destabilized the situation in a number of neighboring regions: the Middle East, Eastern Mediterranean and North Africa, causing immeasurable suffering to the peoples of those regions,” the statement read.
The ministry again accused Ankara of undermining international efforts to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with its pro-Azerbaijani stance.