ANKARA (Agencies): Turkish and Russian military delegations are holding talks on establishing a joint centre in Nagorno-Karabakh, where Armenia and Azerbaijan recently fought a 44-day war in Baku’s favour.
“Works with Russians are ongoing as planned,” Turkey’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar told top commanders in a video conference on Monday.
Fighting erupted on September 27 when the Armenian army launched attacks on civilians and Azerbaijani forces and violated humanitarian ceasefire agreements.
During the conflict, Azerbaijan liberated several cities and nearly 300 settlements and villages from the Armenian occupation.
On November 10, the two countries signed a Russia-brokered agreement to end fighting and work toward a comprehensive resolution.
The truce is seen as a victory for Azerbaijan and a defeat for Armenia.
Turkey and Russia have since signed a memorandum of understanding to set up a joint centre to monitor the peace deal.
It will be established on the Azerbaijani territories liberated from Armenia’s occupation.
On the developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, Akar said Turkey is not the one who escalates tension in the region, adding that Ankara always tries to solve disputes through dialogue and good neighborly relations.
“Unfortunately, our neighbor stubbornly refrains from talks and meetings about the issue,” he said, and added that Greece seeks solutions “at other doors”.
He said Athens, with this attitude, is doing wrong as problems cannot be solved in such a way.
“We will maintain our principled attitude to protect our rights and interests, and to maintain good neighborly relations,” he said.
Opposition to Greece’s violations
Turkey has consistently opposed Greece’s efforts to declare an exclusive economic zone based on small islands near Turkish shores, violating the interests of Turkey, the country with the longest coastline on the Mediterranean.
Ankara has also said energy resources near the island of Cyprus must be shared fairly between the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and the Greek Cypriot administration of Southern Cyprus.