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Erdogan, Aliyev Open Airport Near Nagorno-Karabakh


Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, at the opening of Fuzili airport on October 26.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, at the opening of Fuzili airport on October 26.

Turkish and Azerbaijani presidents Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Ilham Aliyev have opened an international airport in the city of Fuzuli near the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh that was built in record time -- over the past eight months.

The ceremony was held on October 26, hours after Erdogan arrived in Fuzuli, the capital of the district with the same name adjacent to Nagorno-Karabakh that was placed under Baku's control as part of a truce signed in November following a 44-day war between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces.

The airport has one runway, and its terminal has a capacity of 200 passengers. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has included the airport on its list of international airports and assigned FZL as its code.

Fuzuli was the first town that Azerbaijan recaptured from ethnic Armenian forces during the war last year.

The airport is about 100 kilometers southeast of Susa, a key city in Nagorno-Karabakh known as Shushi in Armenian.

Susa was another of the settlements that Baku took under its control during the war over the disputed region that started in September 2020 and continued for six weeks.

Erdogan and Aliyev will also take part in groundbreaking ceremonies for the construction of a new highway in the region and a "smart agricultural park" in Zangilan, another district adjacent to Nagorno-Karabakh that Baku took under its control last year. Turkish construction companies, along with other groups, will participate in the projects, Azerbaijani officials said earlier.

The Turkish presidential administration said the two leaders will also discuss "a wide range" of matters concerning Azerbaijani-Turkish relations and ways to further develop the cooperation between the two nations. It said they would discuss the situation in the region and the world as well.

A Moscow-brokered truce ended last year's heavy fighting which saw thousands of casualties on both sides. Armenia lost control of parts of the enclave's territory as well as seven surrounding districts of Azerbaijan it had held since the 1990s.

Armenian separatists retained control over most of Nagorno-Karabakh's territory, and some 2,000 Russian peacekeepers have been deployed along the frontline areas to protect a land link connecting Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia.

The region is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but came under the control of ethnic Armenian forces after a separatist war in the early 1990s.

With reporting by Anadolu and Azernews

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