Erdogan Says ‘Turkey will Take With Russia in Joint Peace Force’
The “end of war” agreement signed by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and the presidents of Russia and Azerbaijan did not stipulate a role for Ankara. However, a memorandum of understanding signed by Turkey and Russia on Wednesday might add an official role for Ankara that was not previously mentioned.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and his Turkish counterpart, Hulusi Akar, signed a memorandum on the establishment of a joint centre to monitorl the ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Wednesday.
“Turkey will take part with Russia in the joint peace force that will be set up in the implementation, observation and inspection of the agreement. A memorandum of understanding for the formation of the Joint Turkish-Russian Center with the objective of the control and inspection of the ceasefire,” Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told his parliamentary group on Wednesday, according to Hurriyet Daily News.
“This center will be set up on the lands Azerbaijan has liberated from occupation. All the measures for the prevention of the ceasefire violations will be taken by this center,” Erdogan also said, underlining this agreement legally and physically ends the “Armenian occupation of the Azerbaijani lands.”
However, Russia’s presidential spokesperson Dmitry Peskov on Tuesday insisted that there was no discussion on the deployment of Turkish peacekeepers to the region. The memorandum of understanding signed on Wednesday seems to indicate the opposite.
“There is no mention in the text of the statement. There is no agreement on that. The deployment of Turkish servicemen was not agreed upon. There has been talk on creation of a monitoring center in the Azerbaijani territory, and it has been a subject of a separate agreement. It’s not Karabakh,” Peskov said on Tuesday according to RIA Novosti.
Pashinyan’s spokesperson Mane Gevorgyan on Tuesday also denied media reports about Turkish peacekeepers, saying the issue was not even discussed and that the text of the statement does not mention anything about it.
“Reports on this, as well as on the transfer of some villages of Tavush province to Azerbaijan are fake news,” said Gevorgyan imploring Armenian residents to not give in to outside provocation and urged the media to not “distort facts.”
“The document is officially published and you can see it for yourselves,” Gevorgyan said.
According to Sputnik Shoigu noted that the agreements reached by the leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia and the deployment of Russian peacekeepers made it possible to stop the bloodshed and create conditions for a return to a peaceful life.
“The presence of Russian peacekeepers will ensure stability in the crisis region, stop the flow of refugees, and will facilitate their return to their places of residence,” Shoygu.
He noted that “the decision to create a joint monitoring center will allow reliable control over the parties’ compliance with the ceasefire regime and will form a solid basis for resolving the long-standing conflict.”