ANKARA

Anadolu Agency is here with a rundown of the latest developments on the coronavirus pandemic and other news in Turkey and around the world.   

Coronavirus and other developments in Turkey  

The number of Turkey’s coronavirus patients in critical condition continued to drop as total recoveries topped 281,000. COVID-19 has so far claimed 8,262 lives in the country while total cases stand at slightly over 320,000.

Turkish security authorities continued their fight against terrorism, arresting 21 suspects affiliated with the PKK terror group Thursday.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the EU – has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.  

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres registered a Turkey-Libya deal on the delimitation of maritime jurisdiction areas in the Mediterranean in line with Article 102. The Turkish government had applied to the UN to register the pact in mid-December.  

Meanwhile, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar received his Libyan counterpart Salahaddin Namroush and the two discussed the latest developments in the war-weary country. Last November, Turkey and Libya signed a security and military cooperation agreement.  

Libya has been torn by civil war since the ouster of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The country’s new government was founded in 2015 under a UN-led agreement, but efforts for a long-term political settlement failed due to a military offensive by warlord Khalifa Haftar’s forces.  

The UN recognizes the Libyan government headed by Fayez al-Sarraj as the country’s legitimate authority as Tripoli battles Haftar’s militias. Turkey also supports the legitimate government in Tripoli.  

In recent months, with Ankara’s help, the government has gained ground against Haftar’s forces.  

As tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia escalated after the latter launched an attack on the former, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would continue to support Azerbaijan “with all means.”

In a phone call with his Russian counterpart, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said a permanent solution to the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia could be reached through ending the latter’s occupation of Upper Karabakh.

Border clashes broke out Sunday when Armenian forces targeted Azerbaijani civilian settlements and military positions, leading to casualties.  

Azerbaijan’s parliament declared a state of war in some of its cities and regions following Armenia’s border violations and attacks in the occupied Upper Karabakh, or Nagorno-Karabakh region.  

On Monday, Azerbaijan declared a partial military mobilization amid the clashes.  

Azerbaijan has so far reported 16 deaths due to Armenian attacks, while the number of people injured grew to 55. In addition, the government in Baku said it destroyed Armenian army artillery batteries, adding Armenia carried out missile and artillery attacks against Azerbaijan not only from the occupied areas but also from Armenian border territories.

Diplomacy

While tensions between Turkey and Greece have escalated over developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, NATO said in a statement that the two countries have established a military deconfliction mechanism following a series of technical talks in Brussels.

   

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the European Union sought “constructive” relations with Turkey while EU Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen said the EU wants a “positive agenda” with Ankara.

Coronavirus outbreak

COVID-19 has claimed more than 1 million lives in 188 countries and regions since it was first detected in Wuhan, China in December.  

The US, India and Brazil are currently the worst-hit countries.  

Over 34.1 million cases have been reported worldwide with recoveries surpassing 23.7 million, according to figures compiled by US-based Johns Hopkins University.  

The novel coronavirus has claimed more than 1,500 lives in Brazil and Mexico while Italy reported its biggest jump in cases in five months.  

The World Health Organization (WHO) called for efforts to provide better care and support to elderly people across Africa amid the coronavirus outbreak.

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