'Turkey stands with Azerbaijan amid clashes with Armenia'

Alaturka Politika Haberleri

By Merve Aydogan

ANKARA (AA) – Turkish foreign minister on Monday strongly condemned a deadly attack by Armenian armed forces on Azerbaijani troops.

Mevlut Cavusoglu in a televised interview called on Armenia to "pull its head together" and noted that Turkey stands with Azerbaijan "with all it has".

Cavusoglu's remarks came shortly after three Azerbaijani soldiers were martyred and four others injured in a border clash with Armenian troops on Sunday.

Regarding Turkey's recent decision to reconvert Istanbul’s iconic Hagia Sophia into a mosque after serving decades as a museum, the minister said the country strongly rejects comments that try to intervene with country's the sovereignty rights on the decision.

On Friday, a Turkish court annulled a 1934 Cabinet decree that had turned the Hagia Sophia into a museum, paving the way for its use again as a mosque after 85 years.

The court ruled that the architectural gem was owned by a foundation established by Sultan Mehmet II, the conqueror of Istanbul, and presented to the community as a mosque — a status that cannot be legally changed.

Furthermore, Cavusoglu reiterated Turkey's aspirations of cease-fire in Libya and said: "We believe that a political solution is the only solution, but the necessary conditions must be met."

Libya has been torn by civil war since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Libya's new government was founded in 2015 under a UN-led agreement, but efforts for a long-term political settlement failed due to the military offensive by warlord Khalifa Haftar’s forces.

The UN recognizes the Libyan government headed by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj as the country's legitimate authority.

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