Russia rejects Azerbaijan's call for Turkey’s involvement in Karabakh mediation | Eurasia Diary -

3 December, Thursday

Russia rejects Azerbaijan's call for Turkey’s involvement in Karabakh mediation

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday said no changes were envisaged to the format of Nagorno-Karabakh peace talks following a proposal by Azerbaijan calling for Turkey’s involvement, Eurasia Diary reports citing Ahval news.

Lavrov made the remarks during a press conference following a meeting with his Armenian counterpart, Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, in Moscow, Abu Dhabi-based the National newspaper reported.

Earlier on Monday, Azeri President Ilham Aliyev said that Turkey should be part of the settlement process in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, Reuters reported.

Aliyev said that the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), formed to mediate in the dispute and co-chaired by Russia, France and the United States, was biased and Turkey should be included in the peace process since it is a global power with Ankara’s involvement in Syria and Libya, according to Reuters.

“Turkey is also a member of the Minsk group, why shouldn’t it be among the co-chairs? Even if many Western countries do not want to accept it, Turkey’s word is big, it’s fully independent,” Aliyev said.

Since the eruption of the latest round of fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh late last month, Turkey offered strong political and military support to Azerbaijan. Turkey has provided Azerbaijan with state-of-the-art weapons, including drones and rocket systems, in the past few years that helped the Azeri military make territorial gains against ethnic Armenian forces.

Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed on Saturday to Russia-brokered humanitarian truce, but both sides have accused each other of repeated violations of the agreement.

Effective peace talks over Nagorno-Karabakh, a largely ethnic Armenian-populated enclave within Azerbaijan, would only be possible after a full ceasefire between Azeri and ethnic Armenian forces, Mnatsakanyan told reporters on Monday.

“We expect that the decisions that have been adopted will be rigorously observed by both parties,"  Lavrov said.

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