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Erdogan slams France's military assistance to Armenia as provocation

The Turkish leader recalled that France was part of the OSCE Minsk Group on Nagorno-Karabakh

ISTANBUL, December 8. /TASS/. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called France's intention to provide military assistance to Armenia a provocation.

"What France is doing is a provocation. It should know that it is not doing Armenia a favor, but the opposite. France has given Armenia a lot of support in the past. What result did they get? None," the Anadolu news agency quoted Erdogan as saying.

He recalled that France was part of the OSCE Minsk Group on Nagorno-Karabakh. "There is no result [from the group's work] and in such a situation it provokes Armenia again. There will be no result from sending armored personnel carriers [there]. Because now there is Azerbaijan, which has ended the occupation of its territory. The result of the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh is obvious. <...> The Armenian leadership should learn the lessons of the recent past and not go for these provocations. It is in Armenia's interest to seize the opportunity for peace and not to fall into the trap of countries that mislead Armenia. Peaceful relations with Azerbaijan is the best option for Armenia. Those who put weapons in Armenia's hands are doing Armenia a disservice," the Turkish president pointed out.

Earlier, Erdogan sharply criticized Western countries for providing military assistance to Armenia, without naming them. He also urged Armenia to sign a peace agreement with Azerbaijan as soon as possible.

On Thursday evening, it was reported that Baku and Yerevan had agreed on steps to strengthen confidence-building measures. As part of the measures, Azerbaijan will release 32 Armenian soldiers and Armenia will release two Azerbaijani soldiers. The Turkish Foreign Ministry welcomed the agreements and expressed hope for the signing of a peace treaty between the two countries as soon as possible.