Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan asked parliament today to extend Turkey’s military presence in Azerbaijan.
Erdogan requested that the deployment be extended for another year so that Turkish forces can continue monitoring the cease-fire between Azerbaijan and Armenia in the disputed Nagoro-Karabakh region. The Turkish troops are working alongside Russian forces in the area, the official Anadolu Agency reported.
The 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war began last September between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the eponymous Caucasus region. It ended in an Azerbaijani victory in November after Russia brokered a cease-fire. Turkey heavily supported Azerbaijan, sending drones, military advisers and Syrian mercenaries.
After the cease-fire, the Turkish Parliament approved the deployment of peacekeeper troops to Azerbaijan. The Turkish forces are observing potential cease-fire violations with Russia.
Turkey and Azerbaijan are strong allies and share historical and linguistic connections. Turkey spent decades building up the Azerbaijani military after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
The two countries have continued to support one another since the war. Erdogan visited Nagorno-Karabakh in June and signed a mutual defense pledge with his Azerbaijani counterpart President Ilham Aliyev. Last month, Turkey agreed to import more gas from Azerbaijan.