BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:00 P.M.) – On Monday, the Turkish government submitted a mandate memorandum to Parliament to allow sending military forces to Azerbaijan, days after Baku and Yerevan, in conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, signed a final ceasefire agreement sponsored by Russia.
The official Anadolu News Agency said, “The Turkish presidency presents to Parliament its memo on sending soldiers to Azerbaijan.”
The Azerbaijani ambassador to Moscow, Bolad Bulbuloglu, had stated that Turkey’s presence in the South Caucasus should not frighten anyone, as the region has such a geopolitical formation, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Russia and Iran.
“Turkey is a brotherly country and a strategic ally of Azerbaijan. Today, a new geopolitical situation appears in the southern Caucasus. Turkey is participating on the ground in this process,” Bulbuloglu said during a press conference held by the international news agency Russia Segodnya.
In a related context, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said last Thursday, that his country was present in the Karabakh agreement, its negotiations and in the field, against the background of the declaration of a ceasefire between the Armenian and Azerbaijani forces, and the deployment of Russian peacekeepers along the line of contact in the region.
The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, had said that there would be no Turkish soldiers in the Karabakh region; however, Ankara is contrasting this claim.
Lavrov said, during a press conference with several foreign and Russian agencies, “We have joint tasks with Turkey, as I said earlier, to monitor the objective situation in the area of the peacekeeping operation from the Azerbaijani side through technical supervision. The operation is carried out exclusively by the Russian Armed Forces unit. There is no ambiguity here. Our Turkish partners understand this very well.”
Lavrov added, “Turkish soldiers will only be able to attend the joint ceasefire monitoring center in Azerbaijan outside the conflict zone.”