Friday, June 21, 2024

Turkish president, Armenian PM agree to continue efforts toward lasting peace in Caucasus region

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have exchanged views on the situation in the South Caucasus and agreed to continue diplomatic efforts to reach lasting peace in the region, the press service of the Armenian government announced after their phone call.

“The sides discussed Armenian-Turkish relations and regional matters. The two countries’ leaders stressed that lasting peace and stability in the region will encourage the development and prosperity of all the countries in the region. The sides noted that they will continue diplomatic efforts on this track,” it said.

The office of the Turkish leader also informed about this phone call.

“On September 11, President Tayyip Erdogan held a telephone conversation with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. The sides discussed Turkish-Armenian relations and regional problems. They also stressed that lasting peace and stability in the region will contribute to the development and well-being of all the countries in the region and pledged to continue diplomatic efforts toward this,” it added.

Erdogan announced his plans to speak with Pashinyan on the sidelines of the Group of Twenty summit in India on Sunday. On the same day, he spoke with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. The Turkish leader noted that “the steps that are being taken in Nagorno-Karabakh are wrong and cannot be put up with.” In his words, “it is absolutely impossible to recognize” the results of the elections in this region.

On Saturday, the parliament of the unrecognized republic of Nagorno-Karabakh elected Samvel Shakhtamanyan as the region’s new president. The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry accused Armenia of seeking to aggravate the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh.

The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the highland region of Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory that had been part of Azerbaijan before the Soviet Union’s break-up, but primarily populated by ethnic Armenians, broke out in February 1988 after the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. Renewed clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia erupted in September 2020, with intense battles raging in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. On November 9, 2020, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan signed a joint statement on a complete ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh. Russian peacekeepers were deployed to the region to ensure the operation of humanitarian corridors. Later, the three leaders adopted several more joint statements on the situation in the region.

At a Council of Europe summit on May 17, 2023, Pashinyan stated that Yerevan recognizes Azerbaijan’s sovereignty in the borders incorporating Nagorno-Karabakh.

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