The Armenian diaspora numbers up to 600,000 in France and French President Emmanuel Macron has accused Turkey of “crossing a red line” by sending mercenaries from the Syrian militia to fight on behalf of Azerbaijan in the conflict, which ‘Ankara denies.
Macron has also recently been in a war of words with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan over Turkey’s aggressive exploration for gas in what Greece and Cyprus claim to be their eastern Mediterranean waters, while the two leaders are also in disagreement over Turkey’s roles in Libya and Syria. civil war. Apart from Greece and Cyprus, France has been the most explicit in urging the EU to impose sanctions on Turkey over the maritime dispute, while it has been more direct than Russia – the strategic ally with which Armenia has a security pact, but which also has relations with Azerbaijan – urging an end to the fighting over the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave. The United States has been relatively little involved in resolving the conflict since it erupted, despite a series of protests by the Armenian diaspora in the United States involving tens of thousands of participants, including a large rally outside the White House and an even larger gathering outside the Turkish Consulate in Beverly Hills, California.
The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, which has been trying for three decades to resolve the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh – a self-proclaimed republic controlled by ethnic Armenians but internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan – are Russia, the United States. United and France, but Azerbaijan protested that it did not view France as neutral and said it wanted Turkey to receive a seat at the table in a new negotiating format.
“We have said time and again that the only solution to this problem is for Armenia to withdraw from Azerbaijani territory,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on October 13 after talks with his Swedish counterpart Ann Linde, who called for an immediate ceasefire.
The question of “pan-Turkism” disturbs Iran
In Iran, meanwhile, where about a fifth of the population of 84 million is of Azerbaijani ancestry, some Iranians are reported to be worried about a rise in “pan-Turkism,” a political ideology that advocates l ‘union between ”States such as Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.
About half of Nagorno-Karabakh’s population has been displaced since the fighting began, officials in the enclave said.
On October 13, Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan was interviewed by BBC Newshour. He said the humanitarian ceasefire negotiated by Russia on October 10 “remains very fragile and remains of great concern to us because what we are seeing is this overwhelming continuation of attacks and attacks on the settlements and the positions of Nagorno-Karabakh; defense positions. And we still hope we can bring this back to normal, to what we agreed – to the ceasefire so that we can get back to normal work. [for substantive talks]».
Since the proclamation of the ceasefire, both sides have made numerous allegations and counter-allegations regarding attacks, with continued allegations of indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas.
Death and injuries increase
The Associated Press reported that the death toll and wounded rose on October 13 as fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces raged for a third week in separatist territory.
Nagorno-Karabakh military officials said 16 servicemen were killed, bringing the total death toll among soldiers to 532 since September 27, when the last explosion of fighting erupted in the decades-long conflict.
Azerbaijan did not disclose its military losses. The overall death toll is likely to be much higher. Both sides regularly claim to have inflicted significant military losses.
Azerbaijani authorities said 42 civilians had been killed on their side since the fighting began. Nagorno-Karabakh Human Rights Ombudsman Artak Beglaryan on October 12 reported the end of October 12 at least 31 civilian deaths in the breakaway region in the past two weeks. Hundreds were injured.
On October 13, Azerbaijani officials said Armenian forces shelled some of its areas. Nagorno-Karabakh officials said Azerbaijan had launched “large-scale military operations” along the front line. Each party usually denies the claims of the other party.
Ali Rastgou, deputy governor of Iran’s province of East Azerbaijan, said a missile struck farmland 70 kilometers northeast of Tabriz, Iran’s third largest city, reported the official IRNA news agency. He said there were no casualties.
IRNA said that since the start of the clashes, more than 50 rockets hit the border areas of East Azerbaijan Province in Iran.