US State Secretary Mike Pompeo accused Turkey of increasing the risk of tension in the ongoing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict by supplying resources to Azerbaijan on Thursday, October 15.
"It is dangerous. We now have the Turks, who have stepped in and provided resources to Azerbaijan, increasing the risk, increasing the firepower that's taking place in this historic fight over this place called Nagorno-Karabakh, a small territory with about 150,000 people," said Pompeo.
Pompeo is also reported to have said that the tensions between both sides is a longstanding one and stressed it can only be solved through peaceful negotiations rather than supplying arms and ammunitions. Armenia and Azerbaijan have been locked in violent clashes over the disputed region since the last week of September.
"We're hopeful that the Armenians will be able to defend against what the Azerbaijanis are doing, and that they will all, before that takes place, get the ceasefire right, and then sit down at the table and try and sort through this - that is - what is a truly historic and complicated problem set," the US official added.
Earlier, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan had said there is evidence that Turkey sending militants from Syria to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict region due to Azerbaijan's inability to fight there independently.
Earlier this week, scores of pro-Armenian demonstrators united together near the Turkish embassy in Paris to protest against Ankara for supporting Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
The pro-Armenian demonstrators called upon the international community to take actions such as imposing sanctions and deployment of peacekeeping forces. As per reports, the protesters took out a rally and held placards carrying messages that read "Stop Erdogan" and "Stop Azerbaijani Aggression." Some of them also waved Armenian flags, the reports added.
Azerbaijan and Armenia have been at loggerheads since July this year with both sides reporting casualties. However, on September 27 the border clashes turned into a major escalation. On October 5, Canada suspended its drone technology export to Turkey over suspicion that Ankara is supplying them to Azerbaijan, which in turn is being used in the conflict in the South Caucasus region.
Meanwhile, the United Nations and the international community has urged both Azerbaijan and Armenia to resolve the issue peacefully. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has urged Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to take immediate steps to establish a ceasefire and start negotiations to prevent a major conflict from breaking out in the region.
Armenia and Azerbaijan have been fighting over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region since 1988. In 1994, a Russia-brokered ceasefire agreement was signed between both the countries but numerous violations have occurred since then.
Inputs: ANI ; Image: AP