Delegation from Russia to visit Turkey for talks on Armenia-Azerbaijan ceasefire deal

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the Kremlin in Moscow on March 5, 2020. (AFP)

A Russian delegation will visit Turkey on Friday to discuss the creation of a joint centre for monitoring a truce deal between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh, the Turkish foreign minister said.

A Turkish role in implementing the truce was not explicitly mentioned in a nine-point agreement the leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia signed with Russian President Vladimir Putin this week.

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The deal put an end to more than six weeks of fighting that left more than 1,400 dead and saw Azerbaijani forces recover large swathes of territory they lost to ethnic Armenian separatist in a 1988-1994 war.

But both Turkish and Azerbaijani officials this week insisted that Ankara -- which diplomatically backed Baku in the conflict -- will play a role in monitoring the deal.

Russia is sending 1,960 military personnel and armoured personnel carriers as part of an independent peacekeeping mission.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the details about the joint Russian-Turkish centre's functions and operations will be discussed on Friday "with a delegation coming from Russia".

The centre "will completely control whatever happens on the field, whether or not there are any violations, with the help of drones and other elements," he told a press conference in Baku carried by Turkish broadcasters.

Azerbaijan purchased military drones from Turkey that proved effective in the conflict, destroying the separatist forces' tanks and other military equipment.

Cavusoglu added that if Armenia breached the deal, "it will pay a price".

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Last Update: Thursday, 12 November 2020 KSA 20:05 - GMT 17:05
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