The landmark Shusha Declaration signed by Ankara and Baku to take bilateral relations to the level of alliance following the Karabakh war is the “pinnacle of ties,” Azerbaijani Prime Minister Ali Asadov
Speaking at a joint news conference with Vice President Fuat Oktay in Shusha, Asadov recalled the liberation of the city in November 2020 from nearly 30 years of Armenian occupation.
Touching on the Türkiye-Azerbaijan relations, he noted that the declaration raised ties between the two countries to the level of a strategic alliance.
“We are grateful to President (Recep Tayyip) Erdoğan and the Turkish people who stood by the Azerbaijani state and people from the first days of the 44-day war of the homeland. We will never forget this support,” Asadov said.
For his part, Oktay also reiterated Türkiye’s support to Azerbaijan by mentioning the strategic relations between Ankara and Baku.
“Shusha, the cultural capital of Azerbaijan, which is of great importance for the Turkic world, also has a special place in bilateral ties between Türkiye and Azerbaijan, which are ‘one nation, two states,'” he stated.
Meanwhile, Oktay underlined that the Shusha Declaration demonstrates the crowning of relations with Azerbaijan.
The “Declaration of Shusha on the Relations of Alliance Between the Republic of Türkiye and the Republic of Azerbaijan” was signed by the presidents of the two countries on June 15, 2021, in Shusha in Karabakh, Azerbaijan.
The declaration is the first document signed between Ankara and Baku that includes the word “alliance.”
Raising relations between Türkiye and Azerbaijan to the level of an alliance, the declaration was inked in a ceremony attended by the presidents of the two countries in the Azerbaijani city of Shusha. The declaration focuses on defense cooperation and establishing new transportation routes, affirming the joint efforts by the two armies in the face of foreign threats, and the restructuring and modernization of their armed forces.
Türkiye was a key backer of Azerbaijan during the 44-day Karabakh War between Azerbaijan and Armenia that erupted on Sept. 27, 2020, and ended with a Russian-brokered cease-fire on Nov. 10.
“This 44-day struggle has shown the whole world what is possible when courage, intelligence and technology come together,” Oktay underlined.
“On Nov. 8, we will celebrate the 2nd anniversary of the liberation of Shusha, the day of victory,” he added.
Relations between the former Soviet republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military illegally occupied Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.
Clashes erupted on Sept. 27, 2020, with the Armenian Army attacking civilians and Azerbaijani forces, violating several humanitarian cease-fire agreements.
During the 44-day conflict, Azerbaijan liberated several cities and around 300 settlements and villages that had been occupied by Armenia for almost 30 years.
The fighting ended with a Russian-brokered agreement on Nov. 10, 2020, which was seen as a victory for Azerbaijan and a defeat for Armenia.
However, the cease-fire has been broken several times since then.
After the conflict ended, Azerbaijan launched a massive reconstruction initiative in the liberated Karabakh region.
“Our goal is to establish lasting peace, establish trust and good neighborly relations, and strengthen stability in our region by accelerating development,” Oktay said.