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Turkish-Russian observation centre for Nagorno-Karabakh to open

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Ankara, Jan 30 (IANS) A joint Turkish-Russian observation centre to monitor the ceasefire in the Nagorno-Karabakh region recently freed from armed conflict, will begin operations on Saturday, a Minister confirmed here.

In a statement, Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said that one Turkish general and 38 military personnel will work at the centre as part of efforts to “monitor and inspect” the ceasefire, Xinhua news agency.

In November 2020, the Turkish Parliament approved a motion for the deployment of troops in Nagorno-Karabakh for one year as part of an accord between Ankara and Moscow to monitor the implementation of the truce in the region.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev had announced earlier that the Joint Turkish-Russian Centre will be in Aghdam, a district in Nagorno-Karabakh that was handed over to the Azerbaijani military on November 20, 2020 as a condition of the truce.

On November 10, 2020, Armenia and Azerbaijan ended a 44-day conflict in the region claimed the two countries after a ceasefire was reached under the mediation of Russia.

Three earlier ceasefires — two brokered by Russia (October 10, 17, 2020) and one by the US (October 26, 2020) — collapsed after Armenia and Azerbaijan traded accusations and attacks.

A new round of armed conflict broke out on September 27, 2020, along the contact line of the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan but mostly governed by the Republic of Artsakh, a de facto independent state with an Armenian ethnic majority.

Armenia and Azerbaijan went to war over the region in 1988-94, eventually declaring a ceasefire.

However, a settlement was never reached.

–IANS

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