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Turkey's Erdogan Arrives In Baku After Nagorno-Karabakh Truce


Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev (right) receives prayer beads from Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Baku during a visit in February.

BAKU -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has arrived in the Azerbaijani capital, Baku, for a two-day visit with officials of Ankara's close ally.

Azerbaijan's foreign minister said ahead of the visit, which started on December 9, that Erdogan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev will discuss bilateral relations and the situation around Azerbaijan's breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Turkey supported Baku during a conflict with Armenia over the breakaway region that started on September 27 and ended with a Moscow-brokered truce struck on November 10.

Under the deal, some areas in and around the region were placed under Azerbaijani administration after almost 30 years of control by ethnic Armenian forces following the 44-day war that claimed thousands of lives on both sides.

Erdogan is expected to attend a military parade in Baku on December 10 to mark Azerbaijan's victory in the war. Turkish military personnel who arrived in Baku earlier this week will also take part in the parade.

The Moscow-brokered deal was a blow to Armenia and the Yerevan-backed ethnic Armenian forces who had controlled the territories since 1994.

After the truce, Turkey signed a memorandum with Russia to create a joint monitoring center in Azerbaijan.

Russian officials have said that Ankara's involvement will be limited to the work of the monitoring center on Azerbaijani soil, and Turkish peacekeepers will not enter Nagorno-Karabakh.

Nagorno-Karabakh is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but the ethnic Armenians who make up most of the region's population reject Azerbaijani rule.

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