PARIS (Reuters) – French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday Turkey’s “warlike” rhetoric was encouraging Azerbaijan to reconquer Nagorno-Karabakh and that was unacceptable, though he added that he had no proof at this stage of direct Turkish involvement.
Fierce fighting broke out on Sunday between Armenian and Azeri forces over Nagorno-Karabakh, a breakaway region inside Azerbaijan but run by ethnic Armenians. Turkey is an ally of Azerbaijian, with which it shares ethnic and cultural ties.
“I have noted Turkey’s political declarations (in favour of Azerbaijan), which I think are inconsiderate and dangerous,” Macron told a news conference in Latvia.
“France remains extremely concerned by the warlike messages Turkey had in the last hours, which essentially remove any of Azerbaijian’s inhibitions in reconquering Nagorno-Karabakh. And that we won’t accept,” Macron added.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday Azerbaijan “had to take matters into its own hands” and that “Turkey will continue to stand with…Azerbaijan with all its resources and heart.”
Asked about Armenia’s claim that a Turkish fighter jet had shot down one of its warplanes, denied by Turkey, Macron said he had no proof of regional players being involved so far and preferred to remain prudent until facts have been established.
Macron said he would discuss the issue with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday evening and with U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday.