UPDATE WITH PARLIAMENT SPEAKER'S REMARKS
By Emin Avundukluoglu
ANKARA (AA) – Turkey will continue to support Azerbaijan with all means in its conflict with Armenia over occupied Upper Karabakh, the Turkish president said on Thursday.
"As Turkey, we will continue to support our Azerbaijani brothers with all means with all our hearts in line with the principle of 'two states, one nation,'" President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during his speech at the opening of the Turkish parliament's fourth legislative session of its 27th term in the capital Ankara.
Erdogan noted that permanent peace could only be achieved in the region "if Armenia withdraws from occupied Azerbaijani territories."
"Efforts to slander Turkey […] also won't be able save the Armenian administration," Erdogan said.
He warned countries supporting "rogue state" Armenia in its occupation of Upper Karabakh would "answer to the common conscience."
In his opening speech, parliament speaker Mustafa Sentop said that Turkey will continue to support Azerbaijan in their rightful cause.
He recalled relations between Turkey and Azerbaijan are exemplary.
"The principle of 'two states, one nation,' is not only a slogan or a historical resolve, but also a principle that dominates Turkey-Azerbaijan relations," he noted.
Border clashes broke out last Sunday when Armenian forces targeted Azerbaijani civilian settlements and military positions, leading to casualties.
Azerbaijan's parliament declared a state of war in some of its cities and regions following Armenia's border violations and attacks in the occupied Upper Karabakh, also known as Nagorno-Karabakh, region.
On Monday, Azerbaijan declared partial military mobilization amid the clashes.
– Eastern Mediterranean
Erdogan said Turkey favored resolving "on an equitable basis" the ongoing disputes over the the Eastern Mediterranean's political and economic potential.
Accusing the EU of becoming an "ineffective" and "shallow," structure, he argued that the bloc was "enslaved" by two of its members, Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration.
There are no crises in our region that were resolved with the EU's involvement, Erdogan added.
"On the contrary, every crisis in which the union intervened has escalated with new dimensions," he said.
Tensions have been running high for weeks in the Eastern Mediterranean, as Greece has disputed Turkey's energy exploration.
Turkey — the country with the longest coastline on the Mediterranean — sent out drill ships to explore for energy on its continental shelf, asserting its own rights in the region, as well as those of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
Ankara has repeatedly urged negotiations with no preconditions to reach a fair sharing of the region's resources.