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Top Turkish, US officials discuss attacks on Azerbaijan

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ANKARA

Turkey’s presidential spokesman and US national security advisor on Tuesday discussed over phone bilateral ties, Armenian attacks on Azerbaijan and developments in the Eastern Mediterranean.

According to a statement by the presidential office, Ibrahim Kalin told Robert C. O’Brien that Turkey would continue to support Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and independence, and Armenia’s withdrawal from occupied territories was essential for regional peace and stability.

Border clashes broke out early Sunday when Armenian forces targeted Azerbaijani civilian settlements and military positions, leading to multiple casualties.

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

Four UN Security Council and two UN General Assembly resolutions, as well as many international organizations, demand the withdrawal of the occupying forces.

Regarding the Eastern Mediterranean dispute, the Turkish official said the US administration should adopt an impartial and balanced position, adding Ankara’s constructive attitude, which paved the way for dialogue and cooperation, should not be left unanswered.

Also in the Eastern Mediterranean, tensions have been running high for weeks as Greece has disputed Turkey’s energy exploration.

Turkey — the country with the longest coastline on the Mediterranean — sent out drill ships to explore for energy on its continental shelf, asserting its own rights in the region, as well as those of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

To reduce tensions, Ankara has called for dialogue to ensure fair sharing of the region’s resources.

The two officials also discussed the improvement in economic relations between the two countries.

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