Turkish-Russian working group to meet for joint center in Nagorno-Karabakh
A Turkish-Russian working group will meet in Ankara on Nov. 13 to finalize the modalities of a joint observation and inspection center to watch the ceasefire between Azerbaijan and Armenia, Turkey’s top diplomat has said, informing that the joint mission will take necessary measures for the protection of the truce in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has been in Baku since the weekend for coordination efforts in the aftermath of the agreement that ended the six-week fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenia after the latter had agreed to withdraw from the Azerbaijani territories it occupied since the early 1990s.
At a press conference he held before his departure from Baku, Çavuşoğlu informed that Turkey and Russia have signed a memorandum of understanding for the creation of the joint center in line with article 5 of the Azerbaijan-Armenia agreement brokered by Russia.
“A Russian delegation will be in Ankara to work on the details. A joint working group to this end will be set up which will determine the rules of procedures,” Çavuşoğlu said.
The joint center and its branches will be established on Azerbaijani territories, but its exact location will be decided by Baku upon the advice of the Turkish-Russian working group, he said, informing that the final decision about the works of the center will be made by the Azerbaijani authorities as the host country.
“This center will detect the violations by the use of drones and other means who will monitor the area. It will examine the complaints by the parties and will take measures to prevent the breaches of the ceasefire,” Çavuşoğlu stated.
“We hope this center will contribute to the lasting peace and stability in the region,” he added.
The minister also informed that the government may opt for submitting a motion to parliament to get the necessary authorization for the deployment of the Turkish troops abroad.
Armenia should draw lessons
The Turkish foreign minister also expressed hope that Armenia will draw the right lesson from what happened in the last period and will evaluate that the agreement can offer opportunities for this country to benefit from the peace and stability of the region as well.
“I observe some reactions [in Armenia against the agreement]. It may happen in such a situation. But instead [of protesting], it will be easier for them to think how they can best benefit from peace in the region. If peace prevails, if they return the lands to Azerbaijan, then everybody will benefit. Who will be the ones most benefiting from it? Regional countries, including Armenia,” he said.
Çavuşoğlu, however, also urged Armenia to abide by the agreement and implement it to the full, saying, “If they violate the ceasefire once again, they will pay the price.”
The Turkish minister slammed France for continuing its statements that criticize the Turkish role in Nagorno-Karabakh, underlining that Paris’ obvious support to Armenia will be the main reason why the European heavyweight will be sidelined in the Caucasus although it’s one of three members of the Minsk Group.
“They are still making one-sided statements even after the ceasefire,” he said.