UPDATES WITH CAVUSOGLU'S PHONE TALK WITH FRENCH COUNTERPART
By Merve Aydogan, Murat Ozgur Guvendik and Dilara Hamit
ANKARA (AA) – Turkey's foreign minister spoke with his Russian counterpart over the phone on Tuesday, diplomatic sources said.
Mevlut Cavusoglu and Sergey Lavrov discussed issues related to Upper Karabakh, Ukraine, and the recent arrest and release of Russian nationals in Turkey, said the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
On Monday, two Russian nationals were released after being arrested along with a Turkish national after taking unauthorized footage with a UAV of a research and development center in Istanbul.
Cavusoglu also held a phone talk with his Georgian counterpart David Zalkaliani to discuss regional cooperation, the sources said.
The two ministers also spoke about Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey trilateral mechanisms and efforts against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The top Turkish diplomat also spoke with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian about regional issues and bilateral relations, the sources said.
- Upper Karabakh
Relations between the former Soviet republics of Azerbaijan and Armenia have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Upper Karabakh, a territory recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.
When new clashes erupted Sept. 27, the Armenian army launched attacks on civilians and Azerbaijani forces and violated several humanitarian cease-fire agreements.
During the conflict, Azerbaijan liberated several cities and nearly 300 settlements and villages from the Armenian occupation.
The two countries signed a Russian-brokered agreement on Nov. 10 to end fighting and work toward a comprehensive resolution.
The truce is seen as a victory for Azerbaijan and a defeat for Armenia, whose armed forces have been withdrawing in line with the agreement.