Erdoğan, Putin discuss conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin held discussions over deadly border clashes between Caucasian neighbours Azerbaijan and Armenia earlier this month, the Kremlin said on Monday.

“Readiness was expressed to coordinate efforts for stabilisation in the region,” Reuters reported the Kremlin as saying after the phone call.

Azerbaijan and Armenia are embroiled in a dispute over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which broke away from Azerbaijan in 1991 with Armenian military support.

Clashes broke out between the two countries’ militaries at the border near Armenia’s Tavush and Azerbaijan’s Tovuz provinces on July 12. At least 16 people, including an army general, have been killed in the deadliest fighting in years.

Moscow has called for a ceasefire, saying it is ready to act as a mediator between the two sides. The Russian Defence Ministry said it would carry out in-border military exercises within proximity of the fighting.

Ankara, a close political ally of Azerbaijan, with which it shares cultural ties and provides arms to, and Moscow, which supports Armenia, maintain a complex relationship; they back opposite sides of two long-running conflicts in Syria and Libya, while preserving economic ties and working with Iran to secure peace in Syria.