Azerbaijan’s win brings new opportunities for peace in region – Erdogan

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that Azerbaijan’s victory in Upper Karabakh has brought new opportunities for peace and stability in the region.

He said this while speaking to his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev over the phone, the Turkish Directorate of Communications said in a statement.

Underlining that Turkey’s support and cooperation will continue in all areas, he expressed pleasure over the start of repair and construction activities in Upper Karabakh, which was liberated by Azerbaijan from the occupation of Armenia.

Relations between the former Soviet republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Upper Karabakh, also known as Nagorno-Karabakh, internationally recognised as Azerbaijani territory, and seven adjacent regions.

Six-week-long conflict

When new clashes erupted September 27, 2020, Armenia launched attacks on civilians and Azerbaijani forces and even violated humanitarian ceasefire agreements.

During the six-week-long conflict, Azerbaijan liberated several cities and nearly 300 settlements and villages, while at least 2,802 of its soldiers were killed.

There are differing claims about the number of casualties on the Armenian side, which, sources and officials say, could be as high as 5,000.

The two countries signed a Russian-brokered agreement on November 10, 2020, to end fighting and work toward a comprehensive resolution.

A joint Turkish-Russian centre is being established to monitor the truce. Russian peacekeeping troops have also been deployed in the region.

The ceasefire is seen as a victory for Azerbaijan and a defeat for Armenia, whose armed forces have withdrawn in line with the agreement.

Violations, however, have been reported in recent weeks, with Armenian soldiers reportedly hiding in the mountainous enclave.