Turkey, Azerbaijan and Pakistan pledge mutual support in territorial disputes

Turkey, Azerbaijan and Pakistan have pledged support for each other’s respective territorial disputes in Cyprus, Nagorno-Karabakh and Kashmir, state-run Anadolu news agency said on Wednesday.

The new agreement, known as the Islamabad Declaration, signed by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Azeri Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov, and Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, will also seek to deepen political, economic and security ties, Anaodlu said.

All three countries are involved in territorial disputes that have threatened to escalate in recent years.

Last September, Azerbaijan launched a military operation in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. Formally located in Azeri territory, Nagorno-Karabakh has been under the control of an ethnic Armenian administration since initial clashes between the two sides ended in 1994.

The recent Azeri offensive was condemned by much of the international community but succeeded in part due to Turkish military support.

The Islamabad Declaration expressed solidarity with Azeri efforts to “rebuild and restore the liberated regions of Azerbaijan”, Anadolu said.

The declaration similarly called for a “realistic and mutually agreed” solution to recent problems in the eastern Mediterranean, according to the news agency.

Turkey and Greece remain at loggerheads in the eastern Mediterranean over the delineation of maritime borders and access to recently discovered natural gas reserves off the coast of Cyprus.

Cyprus has been divided since a 1974 Turkish military operation that followed moves to unite the island with Greece.

United Nations-led talks aimed as reunifying the island have repeatedly faltered. And Çavuşoğlu recently rejected any new initiative to create a joint administration.

Turkey, Azerbaijan and Pakistan’s foreign ministers also “expressed their expressed deep concern over the unilateral actions of Aug. 5, 2019”, referring to India’s decision to revoke the special status of Kashmir, Anadolu said.

The movement significantly curtailed the autonomy of the predominantly Muslim region, which is also claimed by Pakistan. 

Anadolu said the Islamabad Declaration would seek to counter Islamophobia and oppression against Muslims.