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Iran and Turkey assure Azerbaijan they have not provided Nagorno-Karabakh or Armenians with COVID-19 relief

Video footage implied Iran had shipped fuel and supplies to the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Video footage implied Iran had shipped fuel and supplies to the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Ankara and Tehran have denied rumours emanating from Baku that they have sent humanitarian assistance to Armenia and residents of the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh breakaway territory in Azerbaijan controlled by an Armenian ethnic majority.

An unverified video circulating on online media purportedly shows a convoy of Iranian-registered fuel tankers in Nagorno-Karabakh, and includes a local man criticising Iran’s “betrayal.”

The Iranian embassy in Baku quickly commented on the video in which the trucks are allegedly transporting fuel and food to the territory, which last week reported it first coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.

Having denied the authenticity of the video, the embassy assured the Azerbaijani people that Iran has no land and air links with the “occupied territories of Azerbaijan”.

“In the current stage of the comprehensive development of relations between Tehran and Baku, enemies and forces who do not want bilateral relations to be developed and who disseminate such false information to interfere with this process are trying to cast a shadow on good neighbourly relations between the two countries,” the embassy said, as reported by Azernews.

“We bring to the attention of the distinguished Azerbaijani people that Iran has neither land nor air communication with the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. Armenians have tried to spoil relations between the two countries also in previous years with the help of video or photo materials.

“As can be seen, neither the place nor the time is known in the mentioned fake video, the news is completely false. Our expectations from the Azerbaijani media is that prior to the publication of any news, they clarify its reliability and refrain from disseminating information without reference to a reliable source.”

The Turkish embassy in Baku, meanwhile, dispelled rumours that Turkey has provided humanitarian assistance to Armenia as part of its fight against its coronavirus outbreak.

"About 70 Armenian citizens residing in Turkey were sent to their homeland through Georgia. The issue of providing any other assistance is not on the agenda," the embassy said.

Turkey is strongly aligned with Azerbaijan in South Caucasus affairs. Neither Ankara nor Baku have diplomatic relations with Yerevan.