The foreign ministries of Armenia and Artsakh, as well as the Artsakh national assembly condemned Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit on Tuesday to Shushi, where he and his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev signed an “alliance agreement.”

Saying Shushi is a historic Armenian cultural center currently under Azerbaijani occupation, Armenia’s foreign ministry “strongly condemned” the joint visit by the presidents of Turkey and Azerbaijan.

Yerevan also called the visit “an outright provocation against regional peace and security.”

“It is must be noted that this visit was preceded by the destruction of religious, historical and cultural heritage of the forcibly displaced indigenous Armenian population, including the desecration of the St. Holy Savior Ghazanchetsots Cathedral—targeted by the Turkish-Azerbaijani forces during and after the war against Artsakh—as well as the complete destruction of the memorial commemorating the victims of the Armenian Genocide,” said Armenia’s foreign ministry, which accused Ankara and Baku of consolidating their use of forces against the people of Artsakh and undermining international efforts to establish stability in the region.

“Restoring the rights of the Armenians of Artsakh, which includes de-occupation of the territories of the Republic of Artsakh and safe return of the displaced population, is essential to overcoming the Turkish-Azerbaijani genocidal threat against the Armenian people,” Yerevan added in a statement, which also said called for a settlement of the Karabakh conflict through the mediation of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs.

Similarly, the Artsakh Foreign Ministry, also condemned Erdogan’s visit to Shushi, saying it was a gross violation of international law and a further demonstrated Turkey’s “xenophobia, genocidal and terrorist policy.”

The Artsakh foreign ministry urged international condemnation for Turkey’s “clear-cut expansionist and extremist policy,” saying the Artsakh foreign ministry called “such visits, as well as the the ideas, statements, agreements reached and the glorification of medieval expansionist policy voiced during them are a serious threat to international and regional security, a challenge to the entire civilized humanity, a blow to the reputation of all the organizations and structures, of which Turkey is a member.”
The various factions represented in Artsakh’s parliament also issued a statement, in which they echoed the sentiments expressed by official Yerevan and Stepanakert and called on “international organizations, the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries, in particular Russia, to curb Turkey’s aggressive aspirations which are full of new dangers.”

The lawmakers’ statement also characterized Erdogan’s “uninvited visit to Artsakh’s occupied territories, in particular Shushi,” as a threat and a new attempt to display force. “This is a continuation of the opening of “trophy park” in Baku which supposes adoption of new moral and psychological pressures against the Armenian people in the post-war period,” said the lawmakers referring to a park opened in Baku the displays “trophies” collected on the battlefield from Armenian soldiers.

“Erdogan’s provocative action is an attempt to thwart the peacekeeping activity of Russia in the region, and a devious plot to undermine the fragile stability,” said the Artsakh lawmakers. “Such step by the Turkish President is a new challenge not only to Armenia and Artsakh, but also to Russia and Iran.”

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