President Erdogan tells Russia's Putin that Armenia must end its occupation of Azerbaijani lands.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan shakes hands with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin during a meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, January 8, 2020. Sputnik/Sergei Guneev/Kremlin via
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan shakes hands with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin during a meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, January 8, 2020. Sputnik/Sergei Guneev/Kremlin via (Reuters)

Turkey's president has spoken to his Russian counterpart, addressing regional matters with special emphasis on ongoing clashes in Upper Karabakh.

Presidents Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin discussed Turkish-Russian relations and regional developments, including Azerbaijan's Upper Karabakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) region, Turkey’s Communications Directorate said in a statement.

Erdogan told Putin late on Saturday that Armenia must withdraw from the Azerbaijani lands that it has been occupying, noting that Azerbaijan's ongoing counter-operations in the face of Armenian attacks are being conducted within its own lands.

During the phone call, the Turkish president further stressed that Armenia must be convinced to have the common sense to go the negotiating table.

Ending the ongoing conflict with a permanent solution and stabilising the region is of key importance, he added.

Azerbaijani forces advance

Earlier on Saturday, at a governing Justice and Development (AK) Party provincial congress, Erdogan said Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev had been sharing good news with him about progress by their forces in the conflict.

Erdogan said that a victory in Upper Karabakh is drawing near, with Azerbaijani scoring numerous successes in liberating occupied territories from Armenia.

READ MORE: Azerbaijan advances on a strategic region as displaced refugees eye return

Shortly after Erdogan's phone conversation with Putin, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also spoke with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.

Diplomatic sources on Saturday said the two diplomats also discussed the Upper Karabakh issue.

Turkey has long supported neighbouring Azerbaijan’s rightful territorial claims in Upper Karabakh, or Nagorno-Karabakh, a Caucasus region illegally occupied by Armenia for nearly three decades.

READ MORE: Turkey says it will send troops to help Azerbaijan if requested

Upper Karabakh conflict

Since a new round of clashes erupted on September 27, Armenia has repeatedly attacked Azerbaijani civilians and forces, even violating three humanitarian ceasefires.

Relations between the two former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Upper Karabakh and surrounding areas, which together make up some 20 percent of Azerbaijan i territory.

While world powers have called for a sustainable ceasefire, Turkey has supported Baku's right to self-defence and demanded the withdrawal of Armenia's occupying forces.

Multiple UN resolutions also call for withdrawal of the occupying forces.

READ MORE: US, Russia and France stand by Armenia: Erdogan

Source: AA