By Sarp Ozer
ANKARA (AA) – In the wake of aggression by Armenia, Turkey will continue to stand with its Azerbaijani brothers in the face of military attacks and other challenges, said Turkey’s defense minister on Monday.
Hulusi Akar made the remarks in the capital Ankara when receiving Ramiz Tahirov, Azerbaijan’s deputy defense minister, and Kerem Mustafayev, army chief of the Nakhichivan Autonomous Republic, an exclave of Azerbaijan bordering Armenia, Turkey, and Iran.
At the meeting, also attended by Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Guler and other top ministry officials, Akar and Azerbaijani officials stressed the brotherhood between the two countries.
Akar stressed, against the backdrop of the attacks by neighboring Armenia, that Turkey will always stand with its Azerbaijani brothers.
On the security of Azerbaijan and the region, Akar said Turkey and the Turkish Armed Forces will continue to do what they have to do, adding: "No one should doubt that."
After martyring a dozen Azerbaijani soldiers since June 12, Armenian forces, suffering losses from Azerbaijani retaliation, have withdrawn.
Azerbaijan has blasted Armenia’s "provocative" actions, with Turkey supporting Baku and warning Yerevan that it will not hesitate to stand against any attack on its eastern neighbor.
Since 1991 the Armenian military has illegally occupied the Upper Karabakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) region, an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan.
Four UN Security Council and two UN General Assembly resolutions, as well as decisions by many international organizations, decry the illegal occupation and demand the withdrawal of Armenian forces from Upper Karabakh and seven other occupied regions of Azerbaijan.
*Writing by Fahri Aksut