Ankara lauds Baku, its close ally, for an ‘important gain on the battleground and table’, amid deal to end conflict.
Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia have signed an agreement to end six weeks of fierce fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Under the agreement, Russian peacekeepers are being deployed along the front line in Nagorno-Karabakh and the corridor between the region and Armenia.
While Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan described the development as “unspeakably painful” in an emotional Facebook post, Azeri President Ilham Aliyev celebrated, tweeting: “This is a historic day, An end is being put to the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.”
Aliyev said Turkey will also take part in the peace-keeping process.
The announcement has led to anger in Yerevan, Armenia’s capital. Twenty minutes after Pashinyan’s Facebook post, protesters forced their way into the main government building in Yerevan, calling on the prime minister to go.
“The reaction to this declaration of an end to the war in Armenia has been greeted with what appears to be absolute disgust and despair,” said Robin Forestier-Walker, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Tbilisi, in neighbouring Georgia.
Pashinyan on Tuesday said he had concluded the peace deal under pressure from his own army, which said all military action in Nagorno-Karabakh had stopped and the situation was calm.
The deal came after Armenia lost control of a strategic city in Nagorno-Karabakh known as Shusha to Azerbaijan and Shushi to Armenians, and after the accidental downing of a Russian plane by Azeri forces.
Turkey and Russia will supervise a ceasefire reached between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in a phone call, his office said.
Erdogan said during the call that Turkey would supervise the ceasefire together with Russia at a “joint centre to be designated by Azerbaijan in its lands saved from Armenia’s occupation,” adding that Moscow would have an “important responsibility” in this regard, the presidency said.
The Turkish leader hailed the truce as a “right step in the direction of a lasting solution”.
Laurence Broers, an associate fellow for Russia and Eurasia at Chatham House, said that though some of Azerbaijan’s objectives in Nagorno-Karabakh may have been achieved, including the recovery of the seven adjacent districts and the return of refugees, Russia’s presence may pose a problem for Azeri authorities in the long term.
“The price for all of that is Russian troops on the ground in the form of peacekeepers and that may become an irritant in the Russian-Azerbaijani relationship over time.”
“Russia has reasserted itself quite convincingly in the short to medium term but over the long term, this peacekeeping operation may start to look like an occupying force.”
“What Russia has done is to essentially commit to a peacekeeping operation but without a political process or a fully fledged peace process to legitimate that process.”
Alissa de Carbonnel, deputy director for Europe & Central Asia Program at the International Crisis Group, said that while Azerbaijanis were celebrating the deal, many might voice their discontent at the presence of Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh.
“In Baku, Azerbaijanis are celebrating what they see as a military victory. The deal brings Baku what it long failed to attain through negotiations – full control of the adjacent territories so long held by Armenians, and at least parts of Nagorno-Karabakh itself, including, importantly, Shusha.”
“Nor has Baku had to grant Karabakh any sort of autonomy. But over time, disquiet in Baku among those who see Russian peacekeepers as an encroachment on its sovereignty may test the deal.”
“More immediately, Azerbaijan must manage the expectations of hundreds of thousands of IDPs and their families who want to return to Karabakh immediately.”
Iran has welcomed the Russian-brokered deal to end the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between its northern neighbours Armenia and Azerbaijan and called for “foreign fighters” to pull out of the region.
Iran’s foreign ministry, in a statement, hailed the agreement “which led to the ceasefire and halt in hostilities”.
Tehran hoped the deal would “lead to final measures for the establishment of sustainable peace in the Caucasus region”.
It called for “respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, no change to official international borders, the liberation of occupied territories, return of the displaced, and respect for the security and rights of minorities”.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said he hopes for lasting peace for Azerbaijani and Armenian people.
“I hope these last steps we have taken will ensure long-term peace for the peoples of Azerbaijan and Armenia,” Putin said, speaking at a virtual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
The Russian leader had announced early Tuesday that the rivals signed a deal to end the conflict.
The deal to end fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan does not entail any Turkish peacekeeping troops being deployed in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, the Kremlin said.
“The deployment of Turkish soldiers in Karabakh has not been agreed,” spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, according to TASS news agency.
But Azeri President Aliyev said in a speech broadcast earlier that a peacekeeping centre would be created with “Russian and Turkish soldiers on duty”.
He said Turkey would play a role in monitoring the peace process.
France’s presidency has said it was studying the parameters of a ceasefire in the Nagorno-Karabakh region but said any lasting agreement needed to take into consideration the interests of Armenia.
In a statement, the Elysee also said Turkey should end its provocations in the region and refrain from doing anything that could compromise a future accord.
The Elysee said that France was committed to ensuring that any agreement gave the Armenian people “solid guarantees about the civilian population, their security and their aspirations” as well as guaranteeing security and stability in the region.
Azerbaijan’s key backer Turkey should “put an end to its provocations” and “do nothing to compromise the possibility of a lasting agreement being negotiated between the parties, in the framework of the Minsk Group,” the Elysee said.
Russia’s defence ministry has said 12 planes carrying peacekeepers and military equipment departed for the region.
A total of 1,960 Russian peacekeepers are to be deployed in Nagorno-Karabakh under a five-year mandate.
Our correspondent said: “People have been coming out on the streets celebrating with their flags and there has been jubilation all around.
“We have been speaking to people whose parents and grandparents are from the conflict zone, who have been displaced for nearly three decades now, and they are yearning to go back.
“They see this as a major victory. They think that it is going to be while before they are able to go back, but they are happy that the day has finally come that their country can take back the territory that they saw was occupied.”
Our correspondent said: “There is lots of anger, upset, sadness and a huge sense of loss. We’ve been standing here on the grounds of the parliament for the last few hours and we have seen a continuous stream of people voicing their anger and their opposition.”
She added that others, however, welcomed the deal because Armenia was losing the battle, with some saying Azeri forces were just a few kilometres from the main city of Stepanakert.
Pashinyan claimed he had “no way out of it”, said Abdel-Hamid, “that Armenia was fighting against a well-equipped army in Azerbaijan but also it was not Azerbaijan alone, it was Turkey helping them.
“He is under a lot of pressure. Politically he has the support of the chief of staff of the military but there are also calls from opposition parties for him to leave, to have another person get Armenia out of this very difficult time.”
Turkey is continuing discussions on how to observe and monitor a peace agreement between Azerbaijan and Armenia in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday, after the warring sides signed a Russia-brokered deal to end fighting.
Under the deal, Russian peacekeepers will be deployed along the front line in Nagorno-Karabakh and the corridor between the region and Armenia. Azeri President Aliyev said Turkey will also take part in the peacekeeping process.
Cavusoglu told reporters in Ankara the deal would ensure the seven regions around Karabakh are handed to Azerbaijan, adding that Turkey would continue to stand with its Azeri allies
Liz Cookman, our stringer in Yerevan, has been interviewing Armenians following the deal announcement.
Robert, who did not want to give his last name, a 22-year-old Armenian American student from Yerevan, said: “This cannot be a unilateral decision from the government without the will of the people. There needs to be a referendum.”
Mariam Sargasyan, 43, works in hospitality and supports Pashinyan. She said: “The ones who are in the house of parliament [the protesters] are not the people. They are the ones sent by the oligarchs.”
She added the protests were organised by the elite who governed before, to unsettle the government. “I’m sure soon we will have totally different news, many things will come out. The traitors, the criminals of the former government, are working on our emotions. Tuesday will be better.”
Seymur Kazimov, our stringer in Baku, has been interviewing Azerbaijanis following the deal announcement.
Elesger Mammadli, from Agdam, said: “I am completely against Russian peacekeepers in Azerbaijan. Russia will not play any role making peace in the region. It is against the independence and sovereignty of Azerbaijan. Where there is Russia, there is no peace.”
Mushfiq Akhundov, from Terter, said: “My city has been bombed since September 27. Terter is always suffering from war. In the last 30 years, tensions were very high here. Now, I am happy. All of these tensions have ended.”
Mughan Huseynov, from Barda, said: “I am very happy, it is the best solution. Nothing could be better. We have already achieved our goals.”
Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov and his Turkish counterpart Cavusoglu have discussed the Nagorno-Karabakh deal to end the conflict by phone, Russia’s foreign ministry spokeswoman told the Echo Moskvy radio station.
Prime Minister Pashinyan says military actions in the Nagorno-Karabakh region are not completely finished yet, after signing an agreement to end the conflict.
This stance contradicts the army’s announcement, that the situation is calm.
Pashinyan says he made the decision to sign the ceasefire agreement over the Nagorno-Karabakh region after the army insisted on it.
Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia said in the early hours of Tuesday they had signed a deal to end the military conflict over the region after more than a month of bloodshed.
The agreement sparked outrage in Armenia, with angry protesters storming the government headquarters in the capital Yerevan where they ransacked offices and broke windows.
Crowds also entered Parliament and demanded the resignation of Pashinyan, who earlier described his participation in the accord as “unspeakably painful for me personally and for our people”.
There are reports of further protests planned for Tuesday.
Turkey says the deal secured important gains for its close ally Azerbaijan in the conflict with Armenia.
“The brotherly Azerbaijan has achieved an important gain on the battleground and table. I sincerely congratulate this sacred success,” Turkey’s foreign minister Cavusoglu said on Twitter.
“We will continue to be one nation, one spirit with our Azeri brothers.”
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Hello, and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Anealla Safdar in London and Shereena Qazi in Doha will be bringing you updates.