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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to visit Azerbaijan


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to visit Azerbaijan

erdoğan aliyev
Photo: AP Photo

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will today meet with his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev in Baku.

The visit comes after the conclusion of a near six-week war over a historical land dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia in Nagorno-Karabakh. In early November, Azerbaijan retook a number of territories formerly controlled by Armenia with the military backing of Ankara, which has a strained relationship with Yerevan that draws back to the mass killings of Armenians in the late Ottoman era.

Expect today’s talks to focus on the latest Moscow-brokered ceasefire deal, which has blocked Turkey’s aspirations of deploying its own peacekeeping forces to Nagorno-Karabakh. Instead, Ankara will monitor the ceasefire through a joint Turkish-Russian Centre. While previous ceasefires have collapsed, the recent peace deal appears to be enduring. The ceasefire could be viewed as a geopolitical win for Russia, which could undermine Ankara’s growing regional influence. Therefore, Turkey aims to consolidate its status as a regional power by having a stake in a future political settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Turkey’s attempt to directly interfere in the conflict will put its special relationship with Russia to test. Whether the two countries’ joint monitoring will result in a genuine peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan remains to be seen.

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