A Russian committee is expected to hold meetings on Friday with Turkish diplomatic and defense officials on efforts to follow a recent cease-fire in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar had announced that the technical talks in the capital Ankara with the 20-member committee would be the first to be held after a truce on Tuesday between Azerbaijan and Armenia in their fighting for Nagorno-Karabakh, an internationally recognized territory of Baku.
The Turkey-Russia talks are to deliberate on issues including where the Azerbaijani and Armenian sides are to be stationed under the deal, as well as the size of their forces and the actions they will carry out.
- Conflict, peace deal
Relations between the former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Upper Karabakh, a territory recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.
Fresh clashes erupted on Sept. 27, and the Armenian army continued its attacks on civilian and Azerbaijani forces, even violating humanitarian cease-fire agreements for 44 days.
Baku liberated several cities and nearly 300 of its settlements and villages from Armenian occupation during this time.
Before the second Karabakh war, about 20% of Azerbaijan's territory had been under illegal Armenian occupation for nearly three decades.
On Nov. 10, the two countries signed a Russia-brokered agreement to end the fighting and work toward a comprehensive solution.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev hailed the agreement as a victory for his country and a defeat of Armenia, saying Baku's military success enabled it to gain an upper hand to end the three-decade-long occupation of its territory.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Pashinyan said he had signed an "unspeakably painful" deal that allowed Azerbaijan to claim control over regions it took back in the fighting.
The Turkish leadership also welcomed the truce, terming it a "great victory" for Azerbaijan.