Armenia condemned a visit by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Azeri President İlham Aliyev to Shusha, the second largest settlement of the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, seized by Azerbaijan in last autumn’s war with Armenia.
“These provocative actions significantly harm international efforts to establish stability in the region and are absolutely unacceptable,” the Armenian Foreign Ministry said, Euronews reported on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, Erdoğan became the first leader to visit Shusha since Azeri forces captured the town.
Erdoğan and Aliyev signed a memorandum to deepen political, commercial and military cooperation between the two countries during the visit.
“Karabakh has returned to its owners,” Erdoğan said. Turkey will open a consulate in the town, he said.
Erdoğan has also outlined plans to set up a regional cooperation platform with Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia during meetings in Azerbaijan this week.
“We hope Armenia will grasp this hand extended in solidarity and take an opportunity to shape a common future together,” Erdoğan said.
Azerbaijan, backed by Turkey, began a successful military offensive against Armenian forces in Nagorno-Karabakh in September. The conflict ended in November with a Russia-brokered ceasefire. Azerbaijan regained control of much of the disputed territory controlled by ethnic Armenians since the 1990s.