ISTANBUL

In a Monday phone call, Turkey’s president and the head of the European Council spoke about Turkish-EU relations, developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, and regional issues, an official statement said. 

Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged the EU to take a “consistent stance” on Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, according to a statement by Turkey’s Communications Directorate.

Erdogan said that Armenia had endangered Europe’s energy supplies by attacking the Azerbaijani city of Ganja along with the Tovuz region, where natural gas and oil pipelines and transportation lines are located.

Erdogan urged Charles Michel to work to revitalize Turkish-EU relations, EU fulfillment of its obligations under the 2016 migrant agreement, and making progress on updating the Customs Union and visa liberalization.

Despite Turkey’s goodwill approach, Greece continues to escalate the tension in the Eastern Mediterranean, he said, adding that Ankara expects concrete steps from EU to convene the Eastern Mediterranean conference it proposed.

Relations between the two former Soviet republics have been strained since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Upper Karabakh, an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan.

New clashes erupted on Sept. 27, and since then Armenia has continued attacks on civilians and Azerbaijani forces.

The OSCE Minsk Group – co-chaired by France, Russia, and the US – was formed in 1992 to find a peaceful solution to the conflict, but to no avail. A cease-fire was agreed to in 1994.

Many world powers, including Russia, France, and the US, have urged a new cease-fire. Turkey, meanwhile, has supported Baku’s right to self-defense and demanded a withdrawal of Armenia’s occupying forces.

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