As the senior officials of Turkey and Russia were exchanging views on Karabakh, Armenian residents of Kalbajar region were burning their houses before leaving the area as part of the deal with Azerbaijan.
Turkish and Russian military delegations have held technical talks at the Turkish Defence Ministry headquarters, the Defence Ministry has said.
A ministry statement said the two sides discussed the work to be carried out after the cease-fire in Upper Karabakh region, and the situation in Syria.
"Technical talks between the Turkish and Russian military delegations at the Turkish Defence Ministry headquarters have completed. Talks are planned to be continued in the coming days," the statement said.
Dağlık Karabağ'da büyük bir zafer elde ederek bizleri gururlandıran Azerbaycan Türkü kardeşlerimize ve onların kahraman ordusunun kahraman askerlerine ithaf olunur...🇹🇷🇦🇿 pic.twitter.com/rRZPISXTGM— T.C. Millî Savunma Bakanlığı (@tcsavunma) November 14, 2020
Azerbaijan assesses damages in Ganja and other areas as Turkish and Russian officials hold technical talks on occupied Karabakh ceasefire. Our correspondent has more pic.twitter.com/Wq8fyo31vU— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) November 14, 2020
Houses on fire
Villagers outside of Nagorno-Karabakh set their houses on fire on Saturday before fleeing to Armenia ahead of a weekend deadline that will see territory handed over to Azerbaijan as part of a peace agreement.
Residents of the Kalbajar district in Azerbaijan that was controlled by Armenian occupation for decades began a mass exodus this week after it was announced Azerbaijan would regain control on Sunday.
In the village of Charektar, on the border with the neighbouring district of Martakert which is to remain under Armenian control, at least six houses were on fire Saturday morning with thick plumes of smoke rising over the valley, an AFP journalist saw.
"This is my house, I can't leave it to the Turks," as Azerbaijanis are often called by Armenians, said one resident as he threw burning wooden planks and rags soaked in gasoline into a completely empty house.
"Everybody is going to burn down their house today ... we were given until midnight to leave," he said.
On Friday, at least 10 houses were burned in and around Charektar.
A key part of the peace deal includes Armenia's return of Kalbajar, as well as the Aghdam district by November 20 and the Lachin district by December 1, which have been held by Armenians since a devastating war in the 1990s.
The two sides will maintain positions in the territories they currently hold, a significant gain for Azerbaijan after it reclaimed some 15 to 20 percent of lost territory including the key town of Shusha.
Russian peacekeepers began deploying to Nagorno-Karabakh on Wednesday as part of the terms of the accord and took control of a key transport artery connecting Armenia to the disputed province.
Russian military officials said the mission consisting of nearly 2,000 troops would put in place 16 observation posts in mountainous Nagorno-Karabakh and along the Lachin corridor.
READ MORE: Armenia accepts defeat in fight over occupied Azerbaijan territories
💬 'We are fully confident that the parties are interested in the presence of the #Russian peacekeepers in #NagornoKarabakh. '— MFA Russia 🇷🇺 (@mfa_russia) November 13, 2020
🔗 Read Foreign Minister Sergey #Lavrov’s interview with Russian and foreign media on current international issues:https://t.co/fanVsAUAiU pic.twitter.com/ir4DM1mDeO
Around three-decade occupation
Relations between 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.
Fresh clashes erupted on September 27, and the Armenian army continued its attacks on civilian and Azerbaijani forces, even violating humanitarian cease-fire agreements for 44 days.
Baku liberated several cities and nearly 300 of its settlements and villages from Armenian occupation during this time.
Before the second Karabakh war, about 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory had been under illegal Armenian occupation for nearly three decades.
On November 10, the two countries signed a Russia-brokered agreement to end the fighting and work toward a comprehensive solution.
Turkey welcomed the truce, terming it a "great victory" for Azerbaijan.
READ MORE: Victors of the Karabakh war: Azerbaijan, Russia and Turkey