Turkey's presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın has criticized U.S. presidential candidate and former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden for calling on Turkey to stay out of the Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict.
“Would you ask Armenia to end the occupation too?” Kalın wrote on Twitter on Sept. 30, adding: “Or would you simply cave in to the smear campaigns of the Armenian lobby?”
Kalın's remarks came after Biden said in a tweet on Sept. 30 that the U.S. administration should work to keep Turkey from involving itself in the war.
“With casualties rapidly mounting in and around Nagorno-Karabakh, the Trump Administration needs to call the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan immediately to de-escalate the situation. It must also demand others — like Turkey — stay out of this conflict,” Biden wrote on Twitter.
With casualties rapidly mounting in and around Nagorno-Karabakh, the Trump Administration needs to call the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan immediately to de-escalate the situation. It must also demand others — like Turkey — stay out of this conflict. https://t.co/C41YKEGTyA— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 29, 2020
On the fourth day of fighting, Azerbaijan and the ethnic Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh accused each other of shelling along the line of contact that divides them in the volatile, mountainous South Caucasus.Macron slams Turkey's 'warlike' rhetoric on Nagorno-Karabakh
Dozens have been reported killed and hundreds wounded in fighting since Sept. 27 that has spread well beyond the enclave's boundaries, threatening to spill over into all-out war between the former Soviet republics of Azerbaijan and Armenia.
The re-eruption of one of the "frozen conflicts" dating back the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union has raised concerns about stability in the South Caucasus, a corridor for pipelines carrying oil and gas to world markets, and raised fears that regional powers Russia and Turkey could be drawn in.
Some of Turkey's NATO allies are increasingly alarmed by Ankara's stance on Nagorno-Karabakh, a breakaway region inside Turkey's close ally Azerbaijan that is run by ethnic Armenians but is not recognised by any country as an independent republic.
Echoing remarks by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Sept. 30 Turkey would "do what is necessary" when asked whether Ankara would offer military support if Azerbaijan asked for it.Armenia publishes photos of wreckage it says is SU-25 warplane shot down by Turkish F-16 jet