Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov Azerbaijan, speaking at a press conference following the meeting with defence Ministers of Turkey and Georgia, announced joint military exercises of the three countries.
“To increase the combat readiness of the armed forces of the three countries [we] considered it expedient to hold a trilateral joint military exercises,” — said Hasanov, whose words are given on the website of the Azerbaijani defense Ministry.
He also noted that the parties discussed the strengthening of cooperation in the sphere of military education, cyber security, protection of oil and gas pipelines.
In addition, sloam Minister, at a meeting with heads of the defense ministries of Georgia and Turkey discussed the issues of stability in the region and the growth of tension in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
According to Hasanov, the Ministers emphasized the necessity of peaceful settlement” within the framework of international law and preserve “the sovereignty and territorial integrity”
“I am confident that trichloronate cooperation in the field of defence <…> will contribute to the security of our countries, to strengthen friendship and fraternal relations between our peoples, peace, stability and sustainable development in the region”, — said the Minister of defense of Azerbaijan.
The situation in the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) has grown on 2 April. Then clashes broke out between forces of the NKR and Armenia on the one hand and Azerbaijan on the other. The sides declared a ceasefire on 5 April, however, Baku and Yerevan continuing to accuse each other of violating the ceasefire.
In early may, the Armenian government approved the bill on recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh. According to Deputy foreign Minister of Armenia Shavarsh Kocharyan, Karabakh will be recognized by Armenia, if Azerbaijan will launch a new military aggression”. Baku, in turn, said that this action will break the process of negotiations.
After the aggravation of the situation in Karabakh, the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made with the support of Azerbaijan. “We pray that our Azerbaijani brothers were victorious in these clashes with minimal losses”, — he said. Later in the Ministry of foreign Affairs of Turkey stressed that the statements about the readiness to support Azerbaijan not indicate that Ankara urges Baku to war.
Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Medvedev stated that the “Turkish factor” contributed to the conflict in Karabakh from the outside, as Ankara gave it a rating instead of calling for negotiations.