Türkiye’s president on Friday slammed France for providing armored vehicles to the southern Caucasus nation of Armenia, calling it a “provocative” move.
Speaking to journalists on his return flight from a visit to Greece, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said: “This is provocation. France should know they are not doing good to Armenia but doing wrong.”
“The Armenian government must learn from its recent experiences and not fall for these provocations. It would be in Armenia's interest to seize the opportunity for peace and not to fall into the trap set by countries misleading Armenia,” he explained, referring to the fall 2020 conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Karabakh. In the 44-day conflict, Azerbaijan won back Karabakh after nearly 30 years of Armenian occupation.
“Peace-based relations with Azerbaijan would be the best option for Armenia. Those who put weapons in their hands will leave Armenia alone in difficult times,” Erdogan added.
Relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.
Azerbaijan liberated most of the region during the war in the fall of 2020, which ended with a Russian-brokered peace agreement, opening the door to normalization.
This September, the Azerbaijani army initiated an anti-terrorism operation in Karabakh to establish constitutional order, after which illegal separatist forces in the region surrendered.