Turkish claims that there are Kurdish PKK fighters present in Armenia are absolute nonsense, according to Armenian President Armen Sarkissian.
Turkey can invent or pretend that there are issues with Armenia. This is absolute nonsense that there are PKK fighters in Armenia. Absolute nonsense. They are also saying that Armenians are targeting the international oil and gas pipelines in Azerbaijan. Again, a nonsense,” Sarkissian told Al Arabiya during an exclusive interview.
Armenia and Azerbaijan accused one another on Tuesday of firing directly into each other's territory and rejected pressure to hold peace talks as their conflict over the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh threatened to mushroom into all-out war.
Nagorno-Karabakh is a breakaway region inside Azerbaijan but run by ethnic Armenians and backed by Armenia. It broke away from Azerbaijan in a 1990s war but is not recognized by any country as an independent republic.
“First of all, when Azerbaijan is speaking about occupied territories, they are speaking about republic of Nagorno-Karabakh. This is an area of historic Armenia that Armenians were living for centuries and thousands of years,” Sarkissian said.
|It is only for less than 70 years, Joseph Stalin, the Soviet leader gave that land to Azerbaijan, it became a part of Soviet Azerbaijan. Then with the end of Soviet Union, people of Nagorno-Karabakh in that Soviet Republic, there were more than 85 percent, 90 percent Armenians living always,” the Armenian president added.
Dozens of people have been reported killed and hundreds wounded since clashes between Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenian forces broke out on Sunday, threatening to draw in neighbors including Azerbaijan's close ally Turkey.
Armenian President Sarkissian further accused Turkey on Tuesday of sending mercenaries and generals to Azerbaijan, adding that all Turkish claims were mere excuses.
“Turkey can pretend or declare there are PKK fighters, Armenians who want to hit the pipeline. These are all excuses to have their strong presence in Azerbaijan and I think that strong presence of Turkish military in Azerbaijan is another increasing threat to Armenia,” Sarkissian said.