On November 16, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan requested the parliament to officially authorize sending troops to Azerbaijan to establish a “peacekeeping center” with Russia to monitor the ceasefire regime in the Nagorno-Karabkah region.
According to the document quoted by state media, Erdogan ordered the parliament to approve the mission to “establish a joint center with Russia and to carry out the center’s activities.” The mandate would be active for one year and its size determined by Erdogan.
“The center will be operated by military personnel and, if necessary, civilian specialists. The work of the center will be aimed at ensuring peace and stability in the South Caucasus in the light of steps to ensure the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, which is reflected in the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and the OSCE,” Anadolu Agency quoted the text.
The creation of the center will contribute to the Turkish national interests, according to the document.
The Turkish side says that the location of the peacekeeping center will be determined by Azerbaijan.
Therefore, the widely promoted by the Turkish leadership deployment of ‘Turkish peacekeepers’ to the Nagorno-Karabakh region appeared to be just participation in the joint ceasefire monitoring center with Russia, as it was originally announced by Moscow.
Recently, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also commented on the situation emphasizing that the center will not be located in a close proximity to the Karabkah zone and there are no ‘field missions’ planned for the center personnel.
At the same time, it should be noted that Turkey has deep military and security ties with Azerbaijan and in-fact already has troops and equipment, for example F-16 fighter jets, deployed on the territory on the country. Therefore, the Turkish participation in the joint center with Russia (that sent peacekeepers to the region) is just a formality confirming its direct involvement in the conflict. As to the negotiations format, Turkey was expectedly excluded from it and the final peace deal between Armenia and Azerbaijan was reached with the help from Russia.
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