Turkey demands Armenia 'ends its occupation of Azerbaijan'
Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday demanded Armenia put an end to its "occupation" of Azerbaijan's breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region, after fresh clashes broke out over the weekend.
"The time has come for crisis in the region that started with the occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh to be put to an end. Once Armenia immediately leaves the territory it is occupying, the region will return to peace and harmony," Erdogan said.
Hulusi Akar called on Armenia to "immediately retreat" from the "occupied Azerbaijani territories" to reach peace and stability in the region.
"Armenia must stop its attacks immediately and send back the mercenaries and terrorists they brought from abroad," Akar told Anadolu Agency.
Akar's comments come a day after Turkish Erdogan vowed complete support for Baku and called on Armenia to give up its "aggression" after heavy fighting erupted in Azerbaijan's breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh.
"The Turkish people will support our Azerbaijani brothers with all our means as always," Erdogan said in a tweet.
He accused Armenia of "being the biggest threat in the region to peace and stability" and criticised the international community for failing to give the "necessary and sufficient reaction" to Armenia's "aggression".
Erdogan also said he held a phone call with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev during which he was "witness once again to his shrewd and determined position".
The worst clashes since 2016 broke out on Sunday between arch-foes Azerbaijan and Armenia who have been locked for decades over a territorial dispute in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Turkey is a key ally of Baku with close cultural and linguistic ties with Azerbaijan.
Ankara has no diplomatic relations with Yerevan due to a dispute over the mass killings of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire which Yerevan says is a genocide.