Vladimir Putin and Recep Erdogan urge international cooperation to end clash at Karabakh
- Vladimir Putin called for international cooperation to end clashes at Karabakh
- Putin and Erdogan stressed the need to end bloodshed at Karabakh
- Russia had raised concern over Turkey's role in the conflict
Russian President Vladimir Putin during a telephone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for international cooperation to put an end to fierce clashes over the disputed Nagorno- Karabakh region in Azerbaijan, reported AFP quoting sources at the Kremlin.
The two world leaders, "stressed the urgent need for joint efforts to end the bloodshed as soon as possible and move to a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh problem," according to a Kremlin readout of the call.
The move is a first on the part of Turkey and Russia since the fighting erupted between the two sides late last month.
New clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenian separatists over the disputed region has already claimed hundreds of lives including those of civilians, leaving an endless trail of devastation. Despite calls of peace from Moscow the two warring nations spar over the contested location.
The former Soviet nations have locked horns in the long-simmering deadlock over Karabakh which broke away from Azerbaijan following a war in the 1990s.
The war of the 1990s had wreaked havoc in the region killing at least 30,000 people. The new squabble is the worst since the 1994 ceasefire and has awakened fears of a regional conflict, with Turkey expressing support for Azerbaijan and Armenia seeking the support of ally Russia.
Turkey has been widely accused of sending pro-Ankara fighters from Syria to the fight in Karabakh to bolster Azerbaijan's troops.
Putin on Wednesday voiced "serious concern" over the role of militants from the Middle East in the conflict.
Erdogan told Putin that "Turkey is in favour of a permanent solution in Nagorno-Karabakh" and also accused Armenia of "seeking to make its occupation (of Karabakh) permanent".
Co-chaired by France, Russia and the United States, the OSCE Minsk Group has worked to find a resolution to the decades-long conflict and the Kremlin said Wednesday that Putin and Erdogan hope Turkey will play a role towards de-escalation as a permanent member.
Ongoing shelling by both sides has left a ceasefire agreed last week in Moscow hanging in the balance, but "both sides confirmed the importance of observing the humanitarian truce," the Kremlin said.