Turkey cements ties with Azerbaijan with Erdogan visit

Turkey cements ties with Azerbaijan in Erdogan visit to recaptured Karabakh city, including a cross-border travel corridor
1 min read
15 June, 2021
The presidents of Turkey and Azerbaijan, which share close cultural ties, announced a new bilateral agreement on Tuesday.
The announcement includes a planned travel corridor between Azerbaijan and Turkey [Getty]

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited on Tuesday the contested region of Nagorno-Karabakh, where he signed a deal to strengthen relations with ally Azerbaijan.

Erdogan and his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev announced the agreement in Shusha, a symbolic town recaptured by Azberbaijani forces - with Turkish assistance - in November amid a flare-up in a conflict with ethnic Armenian separatists. 

The new agreement will see the already warm friends grow closer, with commitments of mutual military aid and defence industry cooperation.

The two countries are planning to open a travel corridor through the Zangezur region, Aliyev and Erdogan said.

Proposed rail and road transport would link Azerbaijan proper to the Nakhchivan exclave, which has a small border with Turkey but is separated from the rest of Azerbaijan by Armenian territory.

The corridor has previously been proposed by Azerbaijan but is fiercely opposed by Armenia, which says it would violate a ceasefire agreement.

Erdogan also announced Turkey will open a consulate in Shusha - a move that is sure to further anger Armenia and its allies.