Macron claims Syrian fighters operating in Nagorno-Karabakh | Asia

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French President Emmanuel Macron said he was sure Syrian fighters were operating in Nagorno-Karabakh, where Armenia and Azerbaijan are engaged in heavy fighting.Macron said he had evidence that fighters passed through the Turkish town of Gaziantep on their way to the conflict in the South Caucasus, where the fiercest clashes in years have killed nearly 130 people.

“We have today information which indicates with certainty that the Syrian fighters of the jihadist groups have passed through Gaziantep to reach the Nagorno-Karabakh theater of operations,” Macron said upon arriving for a summit with the leaders of the European Union in Brussels.

“This is a very serious new development,” Macron warned, saying he agreed with Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump “to exchange all information. [they] have on this situation and draw all the necessary conclusions ”.

Armenia accused Turkey of sending mercenaries to support its ally, Azerbaijan, and on Monday, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Ankara had sent at least 300 proxies from northern Syria.

Turkey has pledged to support Azerbaijan by all means, but has so far denied any direct involvement in the conflict.

Macron this week condemned what he called Turkey’s “reckless and dangerous” statements supporting Azerbaijan.

Allegations of Turkey’s involvement in the conflict are expected to color Thursday’s EU summit in Brussels, which is expected to cover the bloc’s relations with Ankara as Greece and Cyprus push for a hard line against their old enemy on the waters disputed eastern Mediterranean.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a separate statement that it had been made aware of allegations that mercenaries, sent from Libya and Syria, were involved in the fighting in the disputed territory.

The presence of such “illegal armed units” would pose a long-term security risk to all neighboring countries, the Russian Foreign Ministry added.

France, Russia and the United States are co-chairs of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group, created in 1992 to mediate the decades-old conflict over the enclave mountainous.

On Thursday, they called for peace as the death toll rises in the most violent clashes since the 1990s around Nagorno-Karabakh – part of Azerbaijan, but ruled by its mostly Armenian inhabitants. .

“We call for an immediate cessation of hostilities between the military forces concerned,” said the joint French, Russian and American statement.

They urged the former Soviet republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan to “engage without delay to resume substantive negotiations in good faith and without preconditions” in the framework of the so-called Minsk process.

Recent fighting has raised fears that the outbreak could escalate into all-out war, as fighters turn to regional powers Turkey, which backs Baku, and Russia, which maintains a military base in Armenia, for their support. .



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