By Vafa Ismayilova
Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar has said that the Turkish-Russian joint centre for monitoring the ceasefire in Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region will be located in Aghdam.
"The joint Turkish-Russian monitoring centre for monitoring the compliance with the ceasefire after the war in Karabakh will be located in Aghdam. Construction work is underway," Akar said.
Hulusi Akar made the remarks in an interview with Turkey's Hurriyyet newspaper.
Turkish officials earlier stated that the centre will detect the truce violations by the use of drones and other means that will monitor the area. It will also examine the complaints by the parties and will take measures to prevent the ceasefire breaches.
Akar noted that other military personnel had been put on standby and that combat engineers had been sent to Azerbaijan.
"They will train [Azerbaijani sappers] there and conduct mine exploration operations," he added.
He stressed that Russian peacekeepers are present in Nagorno-Karabakh within the framework of the peacekeeping mission as there are Armenians in some part of the region.
He said that the ceasefire that Armenia and Azerbaijan reached after the 44-day war over the Nagorno-Karabakh region is largely observed.
"The Russians are attentive in this issue. We keep the process under control," he said.
Akar noted that the presence of the Turkish military in the region is a question between Turkey and Azerbaijan.
"The Russians claim that a problem will arise if the Turkish military are present where the Armenians are. We will discuss this issue with Azerbaijan," he said.
Asked about the time of opening of the Nakhchivan and Lachin corridors, Akar said that Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia were still discussing the issue.
Akar and his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoigu signed on November 11 a memorandum of understanding for the establishment of the joint centre in line with the agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan that ended the armed conflict in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a Russia-brokered agreement on November 10 to end the war and work toward a comprehensive solution. The Azerbaijani army declared a victory against the Armenian troops after the six-week-long clashes in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. The signed agreement has obliged Armenia to withdraw its troops from the Azerbaijani lands that it has occupied since early 1990s.
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