Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar says generals and other military officers from both countries will work together at the centre to ensure lasting ceasefire in the region.

Turkey’s Defence Minister Hulusi Akar speaks to representatives of Turkish non-governmental organisations in the capital Ankara, on December 2, 2020.
Turkey’s Defence Minister Hulusi Akar speaks to representatives of Turkish non-governmental organisations in the capital Ankara, on December 2, 2020. (Arif Akdoğan / AA)

A join Turkish-Russian centre in Nagorno-Karabakh, which will monitor the ceasefire deal between Azerbaijan and Armenia, is under construction and will start working soon.

“Now, it is under construction. In a very short time, our friends will start their duty there,” Turkey’s Defence Minister Hulusi Akar told visiting representatives of Turkish non-governmental organisations in the capital Ankara.

Turkish and Russian generals as well as other military officers will be present at the centre, Akar said, adding that they will be working together to ensure a lasting ceasefire in the region.

Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a Russia-brokered agreement on November 10 to end fighting and work toward a comprehensive solution.

Turkey and Russia have since signed a memorandum of understanding to set up a joint centre to monitor the peace deal. It is being established on the Azerbaijani territories retaken from Armenia's occupation.

Akar said Turkey and Azerbaijan are continuing training activities and drills, and reiterated Ankara’s support for Baku’s “rightful cause.”

READ MORE: Victors of the Karabakh war: Azerbaijan, Russia and Turkey

Turkey's troop deployment

Turkey's Parliament has also approved a bill to deploy Turkish troops to Azerbaijan for peacekeeping on November 17.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had asked the parliament to authorise sending soldiers to Azerbaijan to establish a peacekeeping "Joint Centre" with Russia to monitor a ceasefire in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

The deployment bill submitted to parliament requested a one-year mandate to send Turkish peacekeepers. 

The Turkish president would determine the number of troops to be sent.

READ MORE: Russia strengthens border guards in Armenia after Karabakh ceasefire

Decades-long conflict

Relations between the former Soviet republics of Azerbaijan and Armenia have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Upper Karabakh, a territory recognised as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.

When new clashes erupted on September 27, the Armenian army launched attacks on civilians and Azerbaijani forces and violated several humanitarian ceasefire agreements.

Until the November 10 truce, Azerbaijan retook several cities and nearly 300 settlements and villages from the Armenian occupation.

READ MORE: Azerbaijani army takes over last Karabakh district handed over by Armenia

Source: TRTWorld and agencies