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Azerbaijan, Turkey launch joint military exercise as Fidan meets Armenia FM

The joint military exercise coincided with a five-country summit in Tehran between Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Iran and Russia.
A civilian drone flies near the town of Khojaly in the Azerbaijani controlled region of Nagorno-Karabakh on October 2, 2023, during an Azeri government organized media trip. After three decades of Armenian control, the separatist authorities have agreed to disarm, dissolve their government and reintegrate with Azerbaijan in the wake of Baku's one-day military operation in late September. The separatist government said president Samvel Shahramanyan will stay in Karabakh's main city of Stepanakert with a grou

ANKARA — Azerbaijan and Turkey on Monday launched a joint military exercise, including in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, as Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan met with his Armenian counterpart on the sidelines of a five-country regional summit in Iran. 

The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry announced that up to 3,000 military personnel, 130 armored vehicles and 100 artillery would participate in the drill, which will be held in various parts of Azerbaijan, including its exclave of Nakhchivan bordering Turkey and the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which saw an Armenian exodus following an Azeri military offensive in September against the Armenian separatists.  

Turkish Defense Minister Yasar Guler also traveled to Baku on Monday to follow the drill, dubbed Mustafa Kemal Ataturk 2023 exercise, after the founder of modern Turkey. The country will celebrate the republic’s centennial on Oct. 29. 

The exercise comes after the 24-hour Azeri offensive last month that ended the Armenian separatists' self-rule in the contested territories that are internationally recognized as Azerbaijani territory and put it under the full control of Baku, prompting a massive Armenian exodus. Prior to the Azeri offensive, the United States and Armenia held combined military exercises last month designed to train Armenian troops to participate in international peacekeeping missions.

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