ANKARA, November 2. /TASS/. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would like to hold a meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to discuss the Nagorno-Karabakh issue.
"Turkey will continue to support Azerbaijan as far as the Nagorno-Karabakh issue is concerned," Erdogan told reporters following his visit to Baku. "Next week or a week after that, I will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, because his position is very important. If he really focuses on this issue then it would be easy to resolve it," the Turkish president added.
The highland region of Nagorno-Karabakh (or Mountainous Karabakh) is a mostly Armenian-populated enclave inside Azerbaijan’s territory. It is a self-proclaimed independent republic, not recognized by any of the United Nations member states.
In 1988, hostilities broke out there between the forces reporting to the Baku government and Armenian residents. In 1994, a ceasefire was reached but relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia has remained strained ever since.
Azerbaijan insists that its territorial integrity should be restored, refugees should return to Nagorno-Karabakh, and after that talks about its status could begin. Baku is ready to grant autonomy to the region, but is unwilling to hold direct talks with Nagorno-Karabakh. At the same time, Armenia strongly opposes the region’s reunification with Azerbaijan and says that its right to self-determination should be considered first.
Russia, France and the United States co-chair the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) which seeks to broker an end to the conflict.