Turkey, Russia to begin monitoring Nagorno-Karabakh truce

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A joint Turkish and Russian observation center to monitor a cease-fire deal between Azerbaijan and Armenia in Nagorno-Karabakh will become operational on Saturday, Turkey’s defense minister announced.

Hulusi Akar said in a statement Friday that a Turkish general and 38 personnel would be on duty at the center which aims to monitor possible violations of the truce. He did not provide further information.

Turkey and Russia agreed to form an observation center — located in Azerbaijan — shortly after the cease-fire agreement, reached in November, ended six weeks of intense fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

Russia, which brokered the cease-fire, has separately deployed nearly 2,000 peacekeepers for at least five years to monitor the agreement.

“Work toward the creation of the joint center has been completed. The center which will be manned by Turkish and Russian soldiers will become operational tomorrow,” Akar announced.

“We believe that the joint center will greatly contribute to the durability of the cease-fire and to the establishment of peace and stability,” Akar said.

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