Erdoğan, Aliyev sign memorandum to expand ties during Shusha visit

Turkey and Azerbaijan on Tuesday signed a memorandum of alliance to further cooperation following a meeting between the countries' presidents Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Ilham Aliyev in Shusha, Nagorno-Karabakh.

Earlier on Tuesday, Erdoğan met with his Azeri counterpart Aliyev in the city of Fuzuli before travelling to the city of Shusha together, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

The memorandum signed between the two countries included political and commercial spheres and the document also highlighted "cooperation in the defence industry as well as mutual military aid,’’ Anadolu cited Aliyev as saying.

In September, Tukish-backed Azerbaijan launched a successful military offensive against pro-Armenia forces in Nagorno- Karabakh, regaining control of much of the territory, including the second largest settlement of Shusha.

Turkey provided crucial military support to Azerbaijan during the 44-day conflict that ended in November and is increasing investment in Azerbaijan following the conflict.

Erdoğan is the first leader to visit the Shusha, which remained under Armenian control for almost three decades, after Azeri forces captured the town.

“Karabakh has returned to its owners," Erdoğan said and Tuesday announced Ankara’s plans to open a Turkish consulate-general in Shusha.

The Turkish president also called on Armenia to join cooperation in the region.

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