Europe should avoid double-standards on Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity: Turkey’s FM

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The members of the Council of Europe should defend the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan as they are doing for Georgia and Ukraine, Turkey’s top diplomat has said, recalling that Baku struggles to liberate its lands from Armenian occupation.

“I call on all of you to speak up for the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan without buts and ifs. There should be no double-standards. We should defend the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan just like the way we do for Georgia and Ukraine,” Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said at the Council of Europe’s 130th Ministers’ Committee meeting via videoconference on Nov. 4.

Azerbaijan has launched a military operation to liberate Nagorno-Karabakh after Armenian troops attacked its positions in late September, turning a 30-year-long frozen conflict into a heavily armed conflict between the two former Soviet republics.

Turkey stood by Azerbaijan and pledged all sorts of support to its regional ally in its efforts to end the Armenian occupation of its territories.

“What Azerbaijan is doing is trying to take back the control of its internationally recognized lands,” Çavuşoğlu suggested, referring to the U.N. Security Council resolutions over the Armenian occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh since the early 1990s. He also recalled the resolutions issued by the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), stressing that Azerbaijan’s activities were in line with all these decisions.

“Armenia should end its occupation and should be held responsible for its attacks breaking the truce and deliberately targeting the civilians,” he said.

Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed on several humanitarian truces since the armed conflict broke in the region, but the former have violated them by attacking Azerbaijani residential areas.

Europe should condemn PKK’s attacks

Çavuşoğlu reiterated Turkey’s condemnation of terrorist attacks in France and Austria while describing them as “barbaric.”

“As a country that suffered most from different types of terrorism, we condemn the barbaric terror attacks that massacred innocent civilians last week in France and two days ago in Vienna. At the same time, we are also anticipating a similar empathy for the thousands of civilians, including teachers, massacred by the PKK terrorism,” he said.

Terror has no religion, identity or race, and any violence cannot be illustrated as legitimate, the minister said.

On a discussion about publishing the cartoons of Prophet Mohammad by a French satiric magazine, Çavuşoğlu said that attacking the most sacred values of a religion cannot be counted as freedom of expression.

Çavuşoğlu cites Chirac’s words

He cited a statement by former French President Jacques Chirac in 2006 that said “Although freedom of expression is one of the main pillars of the republic, the republic itself is based on tolerance and respect to all faiths. One should avoid any action that would hurt others’ faiths, especially religions. Freedom of expression should be practiced with the spirit of responsibility. I condemn any provocation that would incite hatred in dangerous ways.”

Recalling attacks against the Quran and Prophet Mohammad, the Turkish minister said, “We should rediscover the culture of coexistence in Europe.” HH Turkish deputy foreign minister meets Libyan representatives

Deputy Foreign Minister Yavuz Selim Kıran said he met with the representatives of Tuareg, Tebu and Amazig, who constitute an important part of the Libyan people.

Turkey will continue to perform on historical duty for peace and tranquility to prevail in Libya and to protect the integrity of Libya, Kıran tweeted on Oct. 4.

Hurriyet Daily News

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