Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (L) shakes hand with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, during the Munich Security Conference, Munich, Feb.17, 2020.
by DAILY SABAH
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu held phone calls with his Russian and Azerbaijani counterparts on Sunday over the escalating conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia, according to statements by the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday.
Tensions rose in the southern Caucasus between neighboring Armenia and Azerbaijan on Sunday morning over clashes in which Yerevan said Azerbaijani forces shelled the region of Nagorno-Karabakh and Baku accused Armenian forces of shelling Azerbaijani military and civilian positions.
Çavuşoğlu first spoke with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, the ministry announced.
“We are calling on the sides to immediately halt fire and begin talks to stabilize the situation,” Russian Foreign Ministry had said in an earlier statement.
Moscow boasts a significant military presence in Armenia, including a land forces base near the northwestern city of Gyumri and air force assets deployed near the capital Yerevan.
Çavuşoğlu later discussed Armenian aggression with his Azerbaijani counterpart Jeyhun Bayramov in a phone call.
Meanwhile, in a later statement, Çavuşoğlu said Armenia is receiving the necessary response after it “crossed the line,” as he reiterated Turkey’s full support for Azerbaijan.
The foreign minister noted that Turkish officials have been in close contact with others, including the co-chairs of OSCE’s Minsk Group.
Turkey sided with Baku and warned Yerevan to immediately cease hostility toward Azerbaijan.