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Turkish president set for 3rd Azerbaijan visit since Karabakh liberation

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will head to Azerbaijan on Tuesday, his third visit since the liberation of the Karabakh region last November.

Erdogan will meet his counterpart Ilham Aliyev and attend the inauguration of the Fuzuli International Airport.

The Turkish leader was most recently in Azerbaijan in June, when he visited Shusha, the country’s cultural capital that was occupied by Armenia for 28 years.

Erdogan and Aliyev signed the Shusha Declaration during that trip, a pact focused on defense cooperation and establishing new transportation routes.

The agreement also affirms that Turkey and Azerbaijan will work together in the face of any external threat.

The Turkish president was also a guest of honor as Azerbaijan celebrated its Karabakh victory with a special parade in December 2020.

In his address at the event, Erdogan reaffirmed Ankara’s unwavering support for Baku’s security and development goals, vowing that the two countries will make the region “prosperous, developed and more livable place for our children.”

Liberation of Karabakh

Relations between the former Soviet republics of Azerbaijan and Armenia have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Upper Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.

New clashes erupted on Sept. 27, 2020, with the Armenian army launching repeated attacks on civilians and Azerbaijani forces and also violating several humanitarian cease-fire agreements.

During the 44-day conflict, Azerbaijan liberated several cities and some 300 settlements and villages that were occupied by Armenia for nearly three decades.

The fighting ended on Nov. 10, 2020 after the two countries signed an agreement brokered by Russia.

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