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CORRECTS - Turkish, UK leaders discuss Azerbaijan-Armenia row

CORRECTS - Turkish, UK leaders discuss Azerbaijan-Armenia row
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, British premier Boris Johnson also talk about Eastern Mediterranean, trade over phone


By Sefa Mutlu

ISTANBUL (AA) - The Turkish president and British prime minister in a phone call on Monday discussed a range of issues including the Azerbaijan-Armenia tension and the Eastern Mediterranean, an official statement said.

"Armenia should withdraw from the territories it occupied in and around Upper Karabakh, or Nagorno-Karabakh for peace and stability in the region," Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, according to Turkey's Communications Directorate.

Border clashes broke out early Sunday when Armenian forces targeted Azerbaijani civilian settlements and military positions in the occupied region.

Touching upon bilateral ties and regional developments, Erdogan told Boris Johnson that both Turkey and the UK have mutual interest in Britain exhibiting a balanced and impartial stance on the Eastern Mediterranean, supporting dialogue and cooperation.

Tensions have been running high for weeks as Greece has disputed Turkey's energy exploration in the region.

Turkey -- the country with the longest coastline on the Mediterranean -- sent out drill ships to explore for energy on its continental shelf, asserting its own rights in the region, as well as those of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

To reduce tensions, Ankara has called for dialogue to ensure fair sharing of the region's resources.

Reiterating their determination to increase trade and investments, and reach the target of $20 billion trade volume, both the leaders also agreed to strengthen defense cooperation.

source: News Feed
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