Turkey to send soldiers for Karabakh ‘peacekeeping center’

Police officers walk along a street in front of flags of Azerbaijan and Turkey and portraits of Ilham Aliyev and Recep Tayyip Erdogan hanging on a cable above it in Baku on November 9, 2020. (File/AFP)
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Updated 16 November 2020

Turkey to send soldiers for Karabakh ‘peacekeeping center’

  • Erdogan’s request followed two days of talks in Ankara with Russian officials
  • Turkey is one of Azerbaijan’s closest allies

ANKARA: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan asked parliament Monday to authorize sending soldiers to Azerbaijan to establish a “peacekeeping center” with Russia to monitor a truce over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Erdogan’s request followed two days of talks in Ankara with Russian officials about how the two regional powers intend to jointly implement a Russian-brokered cease-fire signed last week.
Turkey is one of Azerbaijan’s closest allies and has strongly defended its right to reclaim lands it lost to ethnic Armenian separatists in a 1988-94 war.
The Russia-brokered deal brought an end to more than six weeks of fighting that claimed more than 1,400 lives and saw ethnic Armenians to agree to withdraw from large parts of the contested region of Azerbaijan.
Erdogan asked parliament Monday to deploy a mission to “establish a joint center with Russia and to carry out the center’s activities.”
The deployment would be active for one year and its size determined by Erdogan.
Russia is sending 1,960 peacekeepers as well as armored personnel carriers and other military equipment to monitor the truce deal.
Moscow has stressed repeatedly that Turkey will have no troops on the ground under the truce deal’s terms.
The Russian-brokered agreement states that a “peacekeeping center is being deployed to control the cease-fire” but does not specify its formal role.


Sudan govt says ‘not aware’ of Israeli delegation visit

Updated 50 min 7 sec ago

Sudan govt says ‘not aware’ of Israeli delegation visit

  • A senior Israeli official said on Monday the Jewish state had sent a delegation to Sudan
  • The Israel-Sudan pact has yet to be formally signed

KHARTOUM: Sudan’s government on Tuesday denied having information about the visit of an Israeli delegation to Khartoum announced the day before by an official from Tel Aviv.
“The cabinet is not aware of an Israeli delegation and we have no confirmation that this visit took place,” government spokesman Faisal Mohammed Saleh told AFP.
“We also have no information on a Sudanese delegation visiting Israel.”
On Monday, a senior Israeli official said the state had sent a delegation to Sudan — the first such visit since last month’s announcement of an agreement to normalize relations between the two countries.
Israeli army radio also reported Monday that a trip was underway.
The Israel-Sudan pact has yet to be formally signed.
“We have a pre-existing deal that normalization with Israel should be approved by the transitional parliament,” said Saleh.
Prior to that, “there should not be any form of communication with Israel,” he added.
Sudan has yet to form a parliament since the April 2019 ouster of former president Omar Al-Bashir following mass protests against his rule.
The country has embarked on a rocky transitional period that saw the post-Bashir government seeking to turn the page on its status as an international pariah.
Sudan was the third Arab country this year to announce a normalization deal with Israel, after the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.