Yerevan Says Turkey Closes Airspace for Transporting Humanitarian Cargoes to Armenia

Armenia informed the European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation (Eurocontrol) that Turkey was closing its airspace for transporting humanitarian cargoes to the South Caucasus republic, Armenia’s State Civil Aviation Committee reported on Thursday.

“The Los Angeles-Yerevan flight by Qatar Airways scheduled for October 15 to deliver humanitarian cargo to the country will not take place. The flight was intended to proceed through the airspace of Turkey; however, it did not allow this flight. We have the grounds to believe that Ankara deliberately closes its airspace and this is what we have informed Eurocontrol about,” the statement read, TASS reported.

The Armenian authorities have stated on many occasions that Turkey is directly involved in the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. As the republic’s leadership believes, Ankara is not only sending its military personnel to help Azerbaijan but is also redeploying mercenaries from its controlled Syrian groupings to the conflict area in Nagorno-Karabakh.

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.

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