Turkey says it will send troops to help Azerbaijan if requested

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Turkey will not hesitate to send soldiers and provide military support for Azerbaijan if such a request is made by Baku, Vice President Fuat Okaty said on Wednesday, adding there was no such request at the moment.

Earlier, Armenia's prime minister said he saw no possibility of a diplomatic solution at this stage in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with Azerbaijan. Turkey has vowed full solidarity with Azerbaijan and has accused Yerevan of occupying Azeri lands.

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Speaking in an interview with broadcaster CNN Turk, Oktay also criticized the OSCE's Minsk group - formed to mediate the conflict and led by France, Russia and the United States - of trying to keep the issue unresolved and supporting Armenia, both politically and militarily.

Neighboring Armenia and Azerbaijan have been locked in an armed conflict since September 27 over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, killing hundreds of people.

The disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh is an ethnic Armenian enclave in Azerbaijan, home to about 150,000 people, which broke from Baku's control in a war in the 1990s that killed some 30,000 people.

Its separatist government is strongly backed – but not officially recognized as independent – by Armenia.

Turkey strongly backs Azerbaijan and Russia has a military treaty with Armenia.

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