ANKARA, October 21. /TASS/. Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay confirmed on Wednesday that Ankara was ready to deploy its troops to Azerbaijan to back Baku in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
"Our president [Recep Tayyip Erdogan] announced it on the very first day [of a renewed escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh]. Turkey does not hesitate and our president does not hesitate," Oktay said in a televised interview with CNN Turk answering a question from the TV host.
Ankara reiterated earlier its support to Baku and voiced readiness for assistance both at the negotiation table and on the battlefield.
Renewed clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia erupted on September 27, with intense battles raging in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The area experienced flare-ups of violence in the summer of 2014, in April 2016 and this past July. Azerbaijan and Armenia have imposed martial law and launched mobilization efforts. Both parties to the conflict have reported casualties, among them civilians.
The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the highland region of Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory that had been part of Azerbaijan before the Soviet Union break-up, but primarily populated by ethnic Armenians, broke out in February 1988 after the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1992-1994, tensions boiled over and exploded into large-scale military action for control over the enclave and seven adjacent territories after Azerbaijan lost control of them. Talks on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement have been ongoing since 1992 under the OSCE Minsk Group, led by its three co-chairs - Russia, France and the United States.