Turkey's President Erdogan moves motion in parliament for peacekeeping mission in Azerbaijan's Nagorno-Karabakh region for one year.

Top Turkish and Azerbaijani officials attend a ceremony held for the ceasefire deal over Nagorno-Karabakh, in Baku, Azerbaijan on November 11, 2020.
Top Turkish and Azerbaijani officials attend a ceremony held for the ceasefire deal over Nagorno-Karabakh, in Baku, Azerbaijan on November 11, 2020. (AA)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has asked parliament to authorise sending soldiers to Azerbaijan to establish a "peacekeeping centre" with Russia to monitor a truce in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

The deployment bill submitted to parliament requests a one-year mandate to send Turkish peacekeepers, adding that the president would determine the number of troops to be sent.

"It has been assessed that for the Turkish Armed Forces personnel ... to take part in the Joint Centre which Turkey and Russia will form together, will be beneficial for the peace and welfare of the region’s people and is necessary from the point of our national interests," Anadolu Agency stated from the motion.

President Erdogan's request followed two days of talks in Ankara with Russian officials about how the two regional powers intend to jointly implement a Russian-brokered ceasefire signed last week.

READ MORE: Turkey: Armenia to pay price if it violates Karabakh ceasefire

Russian peacekeepers deployed

Russia has sent 1,960 peacekeepers as well as armoured personnel carriers and other military equipment to monitor the truce deal.

The Russian-brokered agreement states that a "peacekeeping centre is being deployed to control the ceasefire".

Nagorno-Karabakh lies within Azerbaijan but has been under occupation of Armenian forces and illegal settlers since a separatist war there ended in 1994.

READ MORE: Azerbaijan’s campaign in Nagorno-Karabakh: Big victory and big lessons

Turkey's role

Turkey, which threw its weight behind its ally Azerbaijan in the conflict, has been engaged in talks with Russia for a role in monitoring the ceasefire that ended six weeks of intense fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the region. 

Last week, Russian and Turkish defence ministers signed a memorandum to create a joint monitoring centre in Azerbaijan.

Turkey is one of Azerbaijan's closest allies and has strongly defended its right to reclaim lands it lost to ethnic Armenian separatists in a 1988-94 war.

The Russia-brokered deal brought an end to fighting that claimed hundreds of lives and saw Armenians agree to withdraw from large parts of Azerbaijan's region that were occupied by Armenia for around 28 years. 

Map shows areas of Karabakh that Armenia is gradually vacating and handing to Azerbaijan, part of a historic deal that seeks to end conflict there.
Map shows areas of Karabakh that Armenia is gradually vacating and handing to Azerbaijan, part of a historic deal that seeks to end conflict there. (TRTWorld)

Armenia minister resigns

Also on Monday, Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan resigned from his post, the ministry's spokeswoman wrote on Facebook.

Mnatsakanyan had held the position since May 2018.

The government of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has come under pressure with thousands of demonstrators protesting last week to demand he resign over a ceasefire deal that secured territorial gains for Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh. 

On Monday, Pashinyan appealed for calm.

"Today I clearly stated that violence or the provoking of violence (especially armed violence) cannot in any way be a means of action for the government," Pashinyan said on Facebook.

Pashinyan said he expected the opposition to also declare that it did not back "any violent action".

Source: TRTWorld and agencies