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Azerbaijan Hosts Joint Drills With Turkey Close to Armenia

Azerbaijan’s protection ministry mentioned on Monday it had begun joint drills with its ally Turkey close to the border with Armenia, weeks after Baku recaptured Nagorno-Karabakh from Armenian separatists.

Azerbaijan final month took management of the long-disputed area in a 24-hour offensive that ended many years of Armenian separatist rule.

The ministry mentioned “as much as 3,000” troops would participate within the tactical drills held in capital Baku, the Nakhichevan exclave between Iran and Armenia, in addition to territories retaken from Armenian separatists.

The workout routines — dubbed “Mustafa Kermal Ataturk 2023” — contain dozens of artillery weapons and aviation.

Baku mentioned they had been aimed toward “guaranteeing fight interoperability” between the allies.

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The drills got here as Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkey, Iran, and Russia had been set to ship their overseas ministers to carry talks in Tehran in a diplomatic format initiated by Moscow in 2020 — after Baku and Yerevan went to battle over Karabakh.

The talks are seen as Moscow’s try to cut back rising Western affect in a area it has lengthy thought-about as its yard.

The European Union and United States have, in recent times, taken a lead position in mediating a peace settlement between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

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Russia, which has historically mediated the battle, has seen its position diminished since being centered on its invasion of Ukraine.

Azerbaijan’s Armenian-populated enclave of Karabakh was on the heart of two wars between the Caucasus arch-foe neighbors — in 2020 and within the Nineteen Nineties.

On September 19, Azerbaijan launched a lightning offensive towards Armenian separatist forces.

After lower than a day of preventing, separatist authorities agreed to put down arms and reintegrate with Azerbaijan.

Virtually all of Nagorno-Karabakh’s ethnic Armenian inhabitants — some 100,000 individuals — fled for Armenia after the offensive, sparking a refugee disaster.