Erdoğan says Azerbaijan close to victory in Nagorno-Karabakh

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Saturday that Azerbaijan was close to victory over Armenian forces in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, Deutsche Presse-Agentur reported.

"God willing, we are nearing victory. May God help them (Azerbaijan)," Erdoğan said during his ruling party meeting in the eastern province of Maraş.

The Turkish president told his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in a phone call on Saturday that Armenia must be convinced to negotiate in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with Azerbaijan and called for a peaceful resolution, Reuters reported.

Erdoğan told Putin that Armenia must withdraw from Azeri lands it is occupying and “stated the Armenian leadership must be convinced to sit down at the negotiating table”.

Fighting in the disputed region between the two countries began on Sept. 27 and has persisted despite ceasefires brokered by Russia and the United States. 

The truces have failed and the battles threaten to spread beyond the de facto independent state, which is located within Azerbaijan’s borders but controlled by ethnic Armenians.

Turkey has thrown its firm support behind Azerbaijan, an ally it shares strong historical and cultural ties with, in the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, saying it was ready to do whatever was necessary to eject Armenian forces from the region.