Earlier this week, Azerbaijan celebrated the first anniversary of its victory over Armenia in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Military officials carried flags of Pakistan, Turkey, and Israel along with Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev declared November 8 as a Victory Day to celebrate the capture of the strategic city of Susa by Azerbaijani forces.
Thousands of people gathered in the capital, Baku, to celebrate at the Azerbaijan victory parade. As part of the celebrations, military marches were held as thousands of flag-waving people honored the troops and the 100 civilians killed in the war.
The Azerbaijani soldiers carried a 440 meter-long national flag through the capital. They also carried flags of the countries that supported Azerbaijan in the war; Pakistan, Turkey, and Israel.
Interestingly, a Twitter user pointed out how religion does not play an important role in the national interest. His point comes owing to the fact that the countries had different religious beliefs, yet they banded together to support Azerbaijan.
Moreover, the governments of Pakistan and Israel do not have diplomatic relations due to Pakistan’s refusal to recognize Israel. Pakistan is also a staunch supporter of a separate state for Palestinians. The country will not recognize Israel until it stops its persecution of the Palestinians and agrees to a two-state solution.
As for Israeli-Turkish relations, Turkey was the first Muslim majority country to recognize Israel. However, relations between the two countries deteriorated over the years.
How did the countries support Azerbaijan?
In 2020, Armenia and Azerbaijan engaged in a full-scale war against each other over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. In short, the Nagorno-Karabakh region is officially recognized as Azeri territory with a large Armenian population. The conflict arose with the two countries fighting for dominance over the region.
Pakistan was Azerbaijan’s strongest diplomatic supporter. Interestingly, media reports claimed that Pakistan sent its soldiers to fight alongside Azerbaijani troops. However, Pakistan’s Foreign Office rejected the claims and called them “irresponsible.”
The Israeli military has been a major provider of battlefield aviation, artillery, anti-tank, and anti-infantry weaponry to Azerbaijan.
Turkey, on the other hand, played the most significant role. Military ties deepened significantly between Turkey and Azerbaijan over the past 10 years. Turkey trains officers in the Azeri armed forces and it has become Azerbaijan’s third-largest supplier of weapons after Israel and Russia. Moreover, Turkish drones incidentally provided a huge advantage for Azerbaijan in the war.