Russia and Turkey will participate in operations to provide Armenians and Azerbaijanis, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said when he was receiving credentials of the newly appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Netherlands Pauline Eizema.
“As you probably know, the regional countries supported this declaration. All our neighbors expressed support to this declaration. Two of our neighbors-Russia and Turkey will be part of the operations which will provide security and safety for Azerbaijanis and Armenians. So, I think that it is more just to be on our side rather than on some other side,” Aliyev said, according to azertag.az.
Additionally, the Azerbaijani leader adressed the issue of sanctions imposed by the Netherlands on Azerbaijan and Turkey over the war in Karbakh.
“I got information that parliament of your country adopted a motion-anti-Azerbaijani motion, also, anti-Turkish motion, providing the sanctions against Azerbaijan. I was informed by my assistant that during the discussions the foreign minister of the Netherlands advocated for more balanced approach. So, we appreciate that, but of course, the fact that the parliament adopts such an unbalanced and I think, unjust decision will not of course, help us to establish closer ties.”
The sanctions against Azerbaijan and Turkey were introduced on November 17 and targeted President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and First Vice President, and also announced a moratorium on arms sales to Turkey. This became the first real diplomatic victory of Armenia since the start of the war on September 27 (TIP: the war ended on November 10).
The Turkish Parliament already approved the deployment of Turkish troops to Azerbaijan for their participation in the joint ceasefire monitoring center with Russia. This center, according to the Russian side, will not include any on ground operations involving Turkish troops in Nagorno-Karabakh. Nonetheless, almost every Russian, Azerbaijani and Turkish comment on this topic leads to multiple speculations: from ‘expert conclusions’ about the deployment of ‘Turkish peacekeepers’ in the region to joint Russian-Turkish patrols there.
Meanwhile, in the Karabakh region:
- On November 17, Armenian forces started evacuating from the Agdam region;
- As of November 17, Azerbaijan and Armenia have exchanged bodies of 200 dead, according to ICRC;
- On November 17, the Stepanakert-Lachin road was fully cleared from the explosives and the road was opened for civilian transport, according to Russian Ministry of Defense;
- On November 18, another column of units of the 15th Separate Peacekeeping Brigade arrived in Stepanakert;
- Since November 14, more than 1,700 residents who previously left their homes have returned to Stepanakert.