Aliyev aide: Armenia using PKK terrorists on front lines amid Karabakh fighting
"We also have concerns about the PKK terrorist organization's involvement in the war. They are also in the ranks of the Armenian armed forces. Essentially, they are deployed on the front line of the defense of the Armenian armed forces," Hikmet Hajiyev -- the aide to Presiden Ilham Aliyev -- said in his comments to reporters on Wednesday.
Armenia is using PKK terrorists on the front lines in Nagorno-Karabakh, Hikmet Hajiyev, assistant to Azerbaijani president, said at an online meeting organized by the British Foreign Press Association.
Hajiyev reiterated that Armenia targets civilians and rejected claims that fighters were brought from Syria to fight for Azerbaijan.
"First of all, we don't need such a thing. We have a very professional army. We also have enough reserve power," he said.
But he indicated that fighters from other countries are in the ranks of Armenia's armed forces, including from Syria, Lebanon, as well as the United States, Canada, and especially France.
Hajiyev urged countries, whose Armenian citizens have joined the war and are killing Azerbaijani civilians, to stop the slaughter of ordinary civilians.
"We also have concerns about the PKK terrorist organization's involvement in the war. They are also in the ranks of the Armenian armed forces. Essentially, they are deployed on the front line of the defense of the Armenian armed forces," said Hajiyev.
ARMENIA CARRIES ARMS WITH CIVILIAN AIRPLANES
Armenia uses civilian airplanes, which is "against the rules of the International Civil Aviation Organization. They embark missile systems on civilian airplanes. In addition, weapons and missiles are sent in the name of 'humanitarian aid'," he said, noting it carries arms using its official airplane as if it is on a formal visit.
"They kill Azerbaijani civilians with them. This also needs to be examined by the international media," he said.
TURKEY'S SUPPORT ON BASIS OF INTERNATIONAL LAW
Turning to relations with Turkey, Hajiyev said: "Turkey's diplomatic and moral support to Azerbaijan essentially takes place on the basis of international law."
Hajiyev said there is defense cooperation but it cannot be attributed to Azerbaijan's defense capabilities or be considered as a third country's participation in the war.
He said Armenia is using PKK terrorists at the forefront in Nagorno-Karabakh and his country does not expect progress on talks to be held in the US between Azerbaijani foreign minister with American and Armenian counterparts.
UPPER KARABAKH CONFLICT
Relations between the two former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Upper Karabakh.
Fresh clashes erupted on Sept. 27, and the Armenian army has since continued its attacks on civilians and Azerbaijani forces, even violating humanitarian cease-fire agreements.
Four UN Security Council resolutions and two from the UN General Assembly, as well as international organizations, demand the "immediate complete and unconditional withdrawal of the occupying forces" from occupied Azerbaijani territory.
In total, about 20% of Azerbaijan's territory -- including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions -- has been under illegal Armenian occupation for nearly three decades.
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group -- co-chaired by France, Russia, and the US -- was formed in 1992 to find a peaceful solution to the conflict, but to no avail. A cease-fire, however, was agreed to in 1994.
World powers, including Russia, France, and the US, have called for a sustainable cease-fire. Turkey, meanwhile, has supported Baku's right to self-defense and demanded the withdrawal of Armenia's occupying forces.