Turkey expects permanent solution in Nagorno-Karabakh, Erdoğan tells Putin

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Presidents Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and Vladimir Putin of Russia hold a joint news conference after their meeting in Ankara, Turkey April 4, 2018. REUTERS/Umit Bektas - RC11505E54F0

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan held a phone call with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, stating that Turkey expects a permanent solution for the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

According to a statement from the Turkish presidential office, the two leaders discussed regional issues, particularly the Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict.

Erdoğan warned Putin that Armenia is attempting to turn its 30-year-old occupation in the Nagorno-Karabakh region into a permanent one. He further underlined that Turkey is expecting a sustainable solution to the conflict.

Putin, on the other hand, expressed his concerns about the participation of Middle East fighters in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the Kremlin said in a statement.

It also said that Putin and Erdoğan reaffirmed the importance of a Moscow-mediated cease-fire for both sides.

Nagorno-Karabakh has seen heavy fighting over recent weeks which has claimed the lives of 600 people, including civilians.

The region is considered by the United Nations and international law to be part of Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan has so far liberated more than 20 villages in Nagorno-Karabakh since clashes broke out between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces in late September.

The clashes began on Sept. 27 when Armenian forces targeted civilian Azerbaijani settlements and military positions in the region, leading to casualties.