Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s stance on the Upper Karabakh issue has backfired the French president’s plans, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday.
Speaking to reporters during his visit to Azerbaijan’s capital Baku on Dec. 9-10, Erdogan said: “Perhaps, France will end Azerbaijan-France relations with the steps it has taken so far, apart from various agreements and so on. This is political inexperience.”
Referring to a recent motion passed by the French National Assembly which calls on the French government to recognize Nagorno-Karabakh — an internationally recognized Azerbaijani territory — as a separate republic, Erdogan said French President Emmanuel Macron, who is currently the president of the OSCE Minsk group, had no positive contribution to the process.
On Azerbaijan’s victory in Nagorno-Karabakh, Erdogan said it opened a new page in the history of Caucasus and the region’s history will be shaped in a new direction.
A six-party platform on the Karabakh dispute that Turkey is working on will be a win-win initiative for all parties, the Turkish president said.
“If Armenia joins this process and takes positive steps, a new chapter could be opened in Turkey-Armenia relations,” he added.
During his visit, Erdogan attended a victory parade at the Azadlig Square to celebrate Azerbaijan’s recent military success in liberating Upper Karabakh from nearly 30 years of the Armenian occupation.
Sanctions against Turkey
During the press conference, Erdogan also criticized the US for passing a bill that includes sanctions against Turkey over its purchase of Russian air defense systems in 2017.
“The US move to make Turkey confront an act called CAATSA [Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act] is a disrespect against a very important partner in NATO,” Erdogan said.
Erdogan said former US President Donald Trump and his predecessor Barack Obama had always spoken of Turkey’s membership in NATO with pride and that positive steps had been taken with both presidents during their respective administrations.
“Now, the Democrats are coming to power. So, what’s happened that such CAATSA sanctions will be imposed on Turkey now?” he asked, adding that he and President-elect Joe Biden also knew each other well.
Noting that Turkey is set to receive 50 million doses of novel coronavirus vaccines from China, Erdogan said 10 million of these would be acquired in the first delivery alone.
“When we start, I’ll get vaccinated,” Erdogan said, urging people in Turkey not to worry about side effects.
He underlined that the Chinese company producing the vaccine had already proved itself in the world.
* Writing by Sena Guler
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