Erdogan, Putin to discuss Armenia-Azerbaijan clashes -Turkish official

Sputnik/Vyacheslav Prokofyev/Pool via REUTERS
Russian President Vladimir Putin bids farewell to Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan after a meeting in Sochi, Russia August 5, 2022.

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin will discuss recent fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan when they meet in Samarkand this week, a senior Turkish official said on Wednesday.

New clashes erupted between Azerbaijan and Armenia on Wednesday as international peace efforts intensified, a day after nearly 100 soldiers were killed in the worst fighting between the ex-Soviet republics since a 2020 war.

“This issue will be discussed with Putin. Because the role played by Russia and Turkey in ending this war and the joint work that followed are obvious,” the official said, requesting anonymity.

“Turkey has started contacts to overcome the problem between the two countries. This needs to end before it grows further.”

The meeting between Erdogan and Putin, on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s summit in Uzbekistan, is set to take place on Friday.

Russia is the preeminent power in the Caucasus and has peacekeeping troops in the Azeri-Armenian conflict zone. NATO member Turkey backs Azerbaijan.

“Turkey will continue to stand by Azerbaijan in every sense,” the official added.