Ankara’s intervention in conflict’s very worrying, Greek FM stresses

Ankara’s intervention in this conflict is very worrying, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias stated at a joint press conference with Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan in Yerevan today, referring to the Nagorno Karabakh issue. He stressed that Greece has already raised its voice in connection with the Artsakh-Azerbaijani conflict;

“We are very concerned about violations of the ceasefire agreement. The ceasefire must be strictly respected. We believe that domestic solutions can be reached only through diplomatic means, returning to the negotiating table under the auspices of the Minsk Group Co-Chairs, on a solid basis of international law. We face very serious security challenges in our immediate neighborhood, but we are trying to find diplomatic solutions for the sake of peace, stability and prosperity in the region. In either case, the international community can make a clear distinction between those who add fuel to the fire, those who take a constructive approach, and those who remain committed to a peaceful settlement of disputes. It is absolutely clear that foreign intervention must be stopped. Ankara’s intervention in this conflict is very worrying. “It has raised serious concerns in the international arena,” said Nikos Dendias.

Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan thanked his Greek counterpart for visiting Armenia during this important period and expressing his solidarity with the Armenian people. He stressed that the people of Artsakh are facing a existential threat, and Azerbaijan openly rejects the humanitarian ceasefire agreement signed on October 10 . As an argument, Mnatsakanyan presented Azerbaijan’s attacks on Artsakh and some territories of Armenia, shelling and inhuman treatment of civilians.

“Our regions, the Eastern Mediterranean and the South Caucasus, are currently facing the same threat that underpins Turkey’s expansionist policies. The instigator of the large-scale aggression unleashed by the military-political leadership of Azerbaijan against the civilian population of Artsakh since September 27 is directly Turkey, not only with its military participation, but also with the involvement of foreign armed terrorists under its service.

Despite the ministerial statement issued on October 10 on the ceasefire and the strengthening of that regime, Azerbaijan continued hostilities, striking at a military facility in the territory of the Republic of Armenia. And yesterday the capital of the Artsakh Republic, Stepanakert, was shelled again. With all this, Azerbaijan clearly shows that it not only refuses to implement the ceasefire confirmed by the joint statement of the Foreign Ministers, but also seeks to expand and deepen the geography of the Karabakh conflict by openly instigating Turkey, already launching an open aggression against the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia.

“It is clear that Turkey is behind the decisions of the Azerbaijani side, but the Azerbaijani leadership will bear all the responsibility for the irreversible military-political consequences of these actions,” Mnatsakanyan said.

This morning, the Greek Foreign Minister visited the Tsitsernakaberd Memorial to pay tribute to the memory of the Armenian Genocide victims. At the end of the day, the delegation led by Minister Dendias was received by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and President Armen Sargsyan. According to the official statement, the Prime Minister and the Greek Foreign Minister referred to Turkey’s destabilizing expansionist policy, which is manifested in different regions. During these meetings, the Greek Foreign Minister did not touch upon the issue of whether the issue of recognizing Artsakh’s independence is on the Greek agenda.

Meanwhile, during the press conference, Minister Mnatsakanyan considered the recognition of the right of the people of Artsakh to self-determination to be a priority foreign policy issue.

It should be noted that on October 7, Greece recalled its ambassador to Azerbaijan for consultations. Official Athens took such a step “because of baseless and insulting statements made by the Azerbaijani government,” Minister Dendias reaffirmed today.

Greek-Turkish relations have been strained from time to time , and military exercises in the eastern Mediterranean have recently become a source of tension. The main disputes between Ankara and Athens are over the ownership of the sea between Crete and Cyprus.

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