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#TheGlobeandMail: ''Canada needs to pick a side as Nagorno-Karabakh tensions rise''. Armenian PM

01:15, Saturday, 03 October, 2020
#TheGlobeandMail: ''Canada needs to pick a side as Nagorno-Karabakh tensions rise''. Armenian PM

Armenia and Azerbaijan are on the brink of all-out war over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. But it’s Turkey that Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan sees as his country’s real enemy in the conflict.
     In an exclusive interview with The Globe and Mail, Mr. Pashinyan said his country is on a “civilizational front line” – and that countries such as Canada that are allied to Turkey, via NATO, need to decide which side they are on.
     Mr. Pashinyan said Turkey had encouraged what looks to be a full-scale attempt by
     Mr. Pashinyan also called for Western countries to reconsider weapons sales to Turkey․
     During the interview, Mr. Pashinyan sounded like what he effectively is: the worried leader of a country at war, desperately trying to drum up international support for his cause. The talk of civilizational conflict is an implicit reference to Armenia being a Christian state at war with a Muslim country, Azerbaijan, which has a staunch ally in Turkey, a bigger Muslim state.
     Mr. Pashinyan said his government was in “permanent” conversations with Russia, which is treaty-bound to defend Armenia but which has thus far sought to play a mediating role. But Mr. Pashinyan said Turkey’s behaviour was an issue for the entire international community.
     On Thursday, France, Russia and the United States issued a joint call for an immediate ceasefire and for the warring parties “to commit without delay to resuming substantive negotiations, in good faith and without preconditions.”
     However, the ceasefire push was rejected by Turkish President Tayyip Recep Erdogan.
     Mr. Pashinyan said he welcomed the ceasefire call, and condemned Turkey’s rejection of it. He said the introduction of the Syrian mercenaries made it impossible to consider withdrawing Armenian troops from Nagorno-Karabakh.
     “Terrorists imported from the Middle East are fighting on the side of Azerbaijan, under Turkey’s sponsorship. How could anyone propose now to leave the population of Nagorno-Karabakh unprotected, facing terrorists and extremists?” he said. “A ceasefire can be established only if Turkey is removed from the South Caucasus.”
     Mr. Pashinyan cast Mr. Erdogan as a leader with dreams of restoring the Ottoman Empire, which decimated its ethnic Armenian population with a series of massacres and deportations carried out during the First World War.
     “A hundred years have passed and Turkey has returned to the South Caucasus, in order to continue the Armenian genocide here.”-said Pashinyan.

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