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Macron, critical of Turkey's 'warlike' rhetoric on Karabakh, 'set to discuss issue' with Russian and US leaders

World Press

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday Turkey’s “warlike” rhetoric was encouraging Azerbaijan to reconquer Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) and that was unacceptable, though he added that he had no proof at this stage of direct Turkish involvement.

The fierce fighting in the conflict zone broke out on Sunday morning after Azerbaijani troops launched large-scale offensive along the Line of Contact, targeting also the civilians of Nagorno-Karabakh.

“I have noted Turkey’s political declarations (in favour of Azerbaijan), which I think are inconsiderate and dangerous,” Reuters quotes Macron as telling a news conference in Latvia.

The French leader added that he would discuss the issue with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday evening and with US President Donald Trump on Thursday.

“France remains extremely concerned by the warlike messages Turkey had in the last hours, which essentially remove any of Azerbaijian’s inhibitions in reconquering Nagorno-Karabakh. And that we won’t accept,” Macron said.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that Azerbaijan “had to take matters into its own hands” and that “Turkey will continue to stand with...Azerbaijan with all its resources and heart.”

Asked about the Armenian official media reports that a Turkish fighter jet had shot down one of its warplanes, denied by Turkey, Macron said he had no proof of regional players being involved so far and preferred to remain prudent until facts have been established.

Since the eruption of the hostilities, the armed forces of Nagorno-Karabakh have shot down seven attack helicopters, 72 UAVs, 137 units of armored vehicles (mainlu tanks), one warplane, 82 transport vehicles and four BTR-82A armored personnel carriers belonging to Azerbaijans air forces. 

Azerbaijan has over 790 losses in manpower. Armenia has officially reported 80 casualties; the fiighting has left an estimated 200 servicemen wounded (of whom around 120 people are still known to be under treatment). 

Azerbaijan's armed forces have also targeted civilian and military infrastructures on the territory of Armenia, causing one civilian casualty.

Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh have declared martial law and a general mobilization since Sunday. 

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