By Sena Guler
ANKARA (AA) – Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told his Russian counterpart via telephone Tuesday he expects a joint monitoring center that will be established in Nagorno-Karabakh to 'soon' begin operations.
Erdogan told Vladimir Putin the center should become active as soon as possible “as part of the steps taken to solve Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and bring lasting stability to the region,” Turkey’s Communications Directorate said in a statement.
Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a Russia-brokered agreement on Nov. 10 to end fighting and work toward a comprehensive solution.
Turkey and Russia have since signed a memorandum of understanding to set up the joint center to monitor the peace deal. It will be established on Azerbaijani territories liberated from Armenia's occupation.
Erdogan noted that during the implementation process, “the Armenian side should not be allowed to make the lasting solution difficult and avoid its responsibilities under the [cease-fire] deal,” as he highlighted Azerbaijan’s sensitivity of the return of all of its territory.
The two leaders also discussed ways to boost bilateral trade volume and ties, and developments in Nagorno-Karabakh, Syria and Libya, according to the statement.
Erdogan said that it was not possible to understand criticisms by the other Minsk Group co-chairs regarding peace efforts.
It also said that the Turkish leader stressed the need for swift and concrete steps to end the war in Syria and voiced belief in the continuation of Turkey-Russia cooperation in political and military talks to protect Libya’s unity and integrity.