Minister of National Defense of Turkey Hulusi Akar had a meeting with Turkish officers in Baku, who will serve in the ceasefire control center in Nagorno-Karabakh operating jointly with Russia, Anadolu Agency reported Thursday.
"Our military are ready to carry out their duties. After the joint center starts its work, out activities will be reinforced, and we will fulfil our mission to protect rights of our Azerbaijani brothers," Akar said at the meeting in the Azerbaijani capital, TASS reports.
Renewed clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia erupted on September 27 in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. On November 9, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan signed a joint statement on a complete ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh starting from November 10. The Russian leader said the Azerbaijani and Armenian sides would maintain the positions that they had held, and Russian peacekeepers would be deployed to the region. Besides, Baku and Yerevan must exchange prisoners and the bodies of those killed.
The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the highland region of Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory that had been part of Azerbaijan before the Soviet Union break-up, but primarily populated by ethnic Armenians, broke out in February 1988 after the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1992-1994, tensions boiled over and exploded into large-scale military action for control over the enclave and seven adjacent territories after Azerbaijan lost control of them. Talks on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement have been ongoing since 1992 under the OSCE Minsk Group, led by its three co-chairs - Russia, France and the United States.
On November 11, Russia and Turkey agreed to create the Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire monitoring center, the memorandum was signed following videoconference talks between Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar.