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Erdogan says Putin supports Baku’s idea to set up regional security platform

The Turkish leader stated that if Yerevan joins the initiative, "a new page may be opened" in the relations between Ankara and Yerevan
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan  Turkish Presidency via AP, Pool
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
© Turkish Presidency via AP, Pool

ANKARA, December 11. /TASS/. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has stated that his Russian colleague Vladimir Putin expressed support for the idea of Baku to establish a regional security platform that may involve Russia, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Iran, Georgia and Armenia. The Turkish president made this statement to reporters onboard his plane as he was returning from Azerbaijan.

"Mr. Putin has a positive view on this idea. He asked my opinion on this during a phone call. I told him that after [Azerbaijani President Ilham] Aliyev approved it, it is important that I have a positive stance on it too. Even Georgia became part of the agenda on this matter," the Haberturk TV channel quotes Erdogan as saying.

Besides, Erdogan stated that if Yerevan joins this platform, "a new page may be opened" in the relations between Turkey and Armenia.

On December 10, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said on the outcomes of talks with his Turkish colleague Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Baku and Ankara must form a multilateral security cooperation platform in the region after the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Renewed clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia erupted on September 27, with intense battles raging in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory that had been part of Azerbaijan before the Soviet Union 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. In 1992-1994, tensions boiled over and exploded into large-scale military action for control over the enclave and seven adjacent territories after Azerbaijan lost control of them.

On November 9, 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 starting from November 10. The Russian leader said the Azerbaijani and Armenian sides would maintain the positions that they had held and Russian peacekeepers would be deployed to the region. Besides, Baku and Yerevan must exchange prisoners and the bodies of those killed.