PanARMENIAN.Net - Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said on Friday, October 9 that he told his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu that Ankara should 'stay out' of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, CBC/Radio-Canada reports.
Speaking to reporters on Friday prior to embarking on a week-long European tour to discuss the ongoing bloodshed in Karabakh and tensions between Greece and Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean, Champagne said he had a 'firm conversation' with Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.
'The message was very clear that external parties should stay out because it's already a very complex situation,' Champagne said.
'We deplore the loss of life and we need to make sure that no one is fuelling the conflict. Quite the opposite, the international community needs to be united in calling the parties back to the negotiating table, [to] respect the ceasefire and protect civilians.'
Champagne said he asked his Turkish counterpart to use his influence to convince Azerbaijan to return to the negotiating table without any preconditions.
Champagne said Cavusoglu agreed with him 'that there is no military solution to this conflict.'
Azerbaijan, with help from Turkey, launched a large-scale offensive against Karabakh (Artsakh) in the morning of September 27, shelling Armenian positions and civilian settlements with large caliber weapons and rocket systems. Armenia and Karabakh have introduced martial law and total mobilization. The Armenian side has reported deaths and injuries both among the civilian population and the military. International and local journalists too have been injured in Azeri shelling of towns and villages, as well as the iconic Ghazanchetsots Cathedral in Shushi. A humanitarian ceasefire has been agreed upon beginning from midday, October 10