French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday intimated he was not pleased with the ceasefire deal being finalized by Turkey and Russia over the disputed Nagorno Karabakh region. Nearly two weeks ago, Moscow announced it had brokered a truce between Azerbaijan and Armenia after six weeks of heavy fighting over the ravaged territory. Yet, in recent days, Russian and Turkish diplomats have discussed deploying a joint peacekeeping mission to the region, a move that would afford Ankara crucial influence and which would deeply concern Paris. Turkey is believed to have fueled the bloody Caucasus crisis, arming Azerbaijan with drones and military advisers. Macron has called for the convening of the Minsk Group, which is chaired by Russia, the US and France and is tasked with overseeing the Nagorno Karabakh issue, to discuss refugees, border demarcation and other issues. Yet sources close to the president told reporters they fear Russia is “talking to the Turks regarding a possible formula, which we don’t want, that would replicate the Astana [forum] to divide their roles in this sensitive region.” The Astana summit was formed by Russia, Turkey and Iran to divvy up control over war-torn Syria while blocking out Western nations.
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