Erdogan unintentionally challenges Azerbaijani counterpart to a weightlifting attempt

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Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev gave a show of strength by carrying out some weightlifting after he mistook Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s jokes as a challenge on Thursday.

During an opening of a sports center in the Azerbaijani city of Zangilan, Erdogan and Aliyev traded jokes about a 20 kilograms (44 pounds) barbell present in the room.

In a video shared by the Turkish Presidency, Erdogan was seen pointing to the barbell jokingly as Aliyev responded to the challenge by taking off his jacket and immediately moving to lift the weight in front of the shocked faces of the officials.

Earlier on Thursday, Erdogan and Aliyev inaugurated a newly built airport in the Zangila city of Nagorno-Karabakh region.

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The Zangila Airport is the second such facility built in the region after the ceasefire in 2020.

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