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Erdoğan says will speak with Armenian PM on Karabakh election

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Sunday that he would hold talks with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan as tensions mount between Armenia and Ankara’s ally Azerbaijan, Agence France-Presse reported.

Turkey has already condemned the election of a new president in Azerbaijan’s separatist Armenian-populated region of Nagorno-Karabakh on Saturday.

Lawmakers in Nagorno-Karabakh’s parliament elected the head of the security council in the separatist government, Samvel Shahramanyan, by 22 votes to one.

Turkey has previously said it “does not recognize this illegitimate election which constitutes a violation of Azerbaijan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

Speaking after the close of the G20 summit in New Delhi, Erdoğan said: “I will have a telephone conversation, probably tomorrow, with Mr Pashinyan. What has been done in Karabakh is not appropriate. We cannot accept this.”

Armenia and Azerbaijan have traded accusations of cross-border attacks in recent months, and Armenia has warned of the risk of a fresh conflict, saying Azerbaijan was massing troops on the countries’ shared border and near Nagorno-Karabakh.

Azerbaijan’s Armenian-populated enclave was at the center of two wars between the Caucasus neighbors.

Six weeks of fighting in autumn 2020 ended with a Russian-brokered ceasefire that saw Armenia cede swathes of territory it had controlled for decades.

Tensions have risen again, with Yerevan accusing Baku of creating a humanitarian crisis by blocking traffic through the Lachin corridor — the only road linking Armenia to Armenian-populated Karabakh.

The two sides have been unable to reach a lasting peace settlement despite mediation efforts by the European Union, the United States and Russia.

Next week, Armenia will host joint military drills with US forces, the latest sign of the ex-Soviet republic’s drift from its traditional ally Russia.

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