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The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Greece condemns Turkey's 'meddling' in Karabakh conflict

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan (R) meets with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias (L) [Getty]

Date of publication: 17 October, 2020

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Greece criticised Turkey's involvement in the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Greece on Friday expressed concern over Turkey's "meddling" in Nagorno-Karabakh, as the Greek foreign minister visited Yerevan to back Armenia in its conflict with Azerbaijan over the disputed region.

Baku and Yerevan have for decades been locked in a simmering conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, an ethnically Armenian region of Azerbaijan which broke away from Baku in a 1990s war that claimed the lives of some 30,000 people.

The Caucasus neighbours have defied international calls to halt hostilities and accused the other of starting new clashes that began September 27 and have seen the heaviest fighting since a 1994 truce. 

Turkey supports Baku and has been widely accused of sending pro-Ankara fighters from Syria to the fight in Karabakh to bolster Azerbaijan's troops. Baku and Ankara have denied the allegations.

"Turkey's meddling in the Karabakh conflict causes us concerns," Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias told a news conference in Yerevan, speaking alongside his Armenian counterpart Zohrab Mnatsakanyan.

Armenia and Greece "have a "shared problem - Turkey," Dendias said, accusing Ankara of "ignoring the EU's calls to respect international law."

Longtime regional rivals Greece and Turkey have been locked in a dispute over energy and maritime resources in contested waters in the eastern Mediterranean.

Greece has a history of strong ties and shared suspicion of Turkey with its fellow Christian nation Armenia, which accuses Ankara of failing to recognise the mass killings of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire as a genocide.

On October 7, Baku recalled its envoy to Athens for consultations in a tit-for-tat move after reports that Greek citizens of Armenian descent had joined the war in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Azerbaijan's foreign ministry has said it had asked Athens to investigate the reports, but Greece responded by recalling its ambassador to Baku.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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