Turkey Parliament Extends Turkish Peacekeepers Presence in Azerbaijan

The Turkish parliament on Wednesday extended the deployment of Turkish peacekeeping forces in Azerbaijan for another year, the official Anadolu news agency reported.

Turkey is one of Azerbaijan’s closest allies and has strongly defended its right to reclaim lands it lost to ethnic Armenian separatists in a 1988-94 war.

The motion, voted in the parliament Wednesday, said a joint center established by Turkish and Russian armed forces to monitor the ceasefire between Azerbaijan and its arch-foe Armenia “successfully continues its activities,” according to Anadolu.

Last year, Russia helped broker a peace deal between Armenia and Azerbaijan which ended six weeks of fighting over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

After the ceasefire, the Turkish parliament authorized sending troops to Azerbaijan to establish a “peacekeeping center” with Russia to monitor the truce.

Under the Russia-brokered deal, Armenia ceded swathes of territories to Azerbaijan in the disputed enclave as well as surrounding areas it had controlled since a war in 1990s, as well as allowing the deployment of Russian peacekeepers in the area.

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