The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and the Azerbaijani leader, Ilham Aliyev, have lauded Baku’s military victory in Nagorno-Karabakh as thousands of ethnic Armenians fled their homes in the breakaway region and headed to Armenia, reports The Guardian.
Aliyev hosted his Turkish counterpart on Monday in the autonomous Nakhchivan exclave, a strip of Azerbaijani territory separated from the rest of the country by Armenia. Last week, Erdoğan, an ally of Aliyev who backed Azerbaijan with weaponry in the 2020 conflict, said he supported the aims of Azerbaijan’s latest military operation, but had played no part in it.
At a joint news conference with Aliyev, Erdoğan said: “It is a matter of pride that the operation was successfully completed in a short period of time, with utmost sensitivity to the rights of civilians.”
Some observers have suggested that after Azerbaijan’s swift victory over Nagorno-Karabakh in last week’s offensive, Aliyev could push for a land connection between Nakhchivan and the rest of Azerbaijan, known as the Zangezur Corridor. Aliyev lamented on Monday that Soviet-era authorities had deemed part of what he said should have been territory belonging to the Azerbaijani Soviet republic as land belonging to the Armenian Soviet republic. “The land link between the main part of Azerbaijan and Nakhchivan was thus cut off,” he said.