The planned Turkish-Russian joint monitoring centre that will join the effort to keep the peace in line with the ceasefire that in early November ended the six-week Nagorno-Karabakh war is to be established in Agdam province, a territory liberated by Azerbaijan during the conflict with Armenia, Turkey’s Hurriyet newspaper reported on December 14.
The main settlement of the province, also named Agdam, became a ghost town after in 1993 it was captured by ethnic Armenian forces in the First Nagorno-Karabakh War.
The Turkish daily reported that the location of the joint centre was last week disclosed by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in a meeting with the French, American and Russian co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group for mediation. It added that the Turkish Defence Ministry had confirmed works to construct the centre, set to use observation drones, were under way, but did not identify its location. Turkey, the publication said, was expected to deploy 30 to 50 military observers at the facility.
There is no provision in the ceasefire that would allow the military personnel to enter Armenian territory as part of their operations. Around 2,000 Russian peacekeeping troops have the main role in preserving the truce.
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