President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday denied claims that Turkey had sent Syrian militants in support of its ally Azerbaijan over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.
“Those who call us say ‘you sent there the mujahideen from Syria’. We don’t have any such agenda,” Erdogan said in a televised speech.
Earlier this month French President Emmanuel Macron accused Ankara of having sent Syrian “jihadists” to the region, accusing Turkey of crossing a “red line”.
Erdogan said Wednesday: “They say ‘you are sending mujahideen from Syria to Azerbaijan.’ They (mujahideen) have work to do on their own lands, they wouldn’t go there.”
Armenia and Azerbaijan, two former Soviet republics, have for decades been locked in a conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, an ethnically Armenian area that broke away from Azerbaijan in a 1990s war that cost about 30,000 lives.
Azerbaijan has never hidden its desire to win back control and no state has ever recognized Nagorno-Karabakh’s declaration of independence.