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 Wednesday, September 6 2023 18:33
Alexandr Avanesov

EU remains committed to facilitating Armenia-Azerbaijan dialogue and  supporting efforts to strengthen peace and security in South Caucasus  - statement

EU remains committed to facilitating Armenia-Azerbaijan dialogue and  supporting efforts to strengthen peace and security in South Caucasus  - statement

ArmInfo. The European Union is following with great concern the continued restrictions on free  movement along the Lachin corridor and the serious humanitarian and security consequences affecting the Karabakh Armenians. This is stated in the statement of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on the recent developments around the Lachin corridor.

As the official website of the European Union reports, they noted in  part:

1."The European Union is following with great concern the continued  restrictions on free movement along the Lachin corridor and the  serious humanitarian and security consequences affecting the Karabakh   Armenians.  2. Movement through the Lachin corridor has been  impaired for almost 9 months, and, since 15 June, the corridor has  been almost completely blocked, with the exception of sporadic  medical evacuations. As a result, medical supplies and essential  goods are in critically short supply or have already run out, with  dire consequences for the local population.

3. The EU deplores that the activities of the International Committee  of the Red Cross in the region have been heavily hampered and calls  for their full and swift resumption, including transport of  humanitarian supplies.  4.   The EU reiterates its  call made by the  HRVP on 26 July to ensure freedom and security of movement along the  Lachin corridor in both directions and to guarantee that the crisis  does not escalate further, in line with the Trilateral Statement of  November 2020, the European Court of Human Rights interim measures of  December 2022 and the ICJ order of February 2023.

5. The EU has taken note of the readiness voiced by the Azerbaijani  authorities to supply goods via the city of Aghdam.  The EU strongly  believes the Lachin corridor must be unblocked, in line with past  agreements and the ICJ Order.

6. The EU has been closely following the growing tensions between  Azerbaijan and Armenia along their international border over the past  months, with shooting incidents reported almost on a daily basis. We  call on all sides to avoid further incidents and recommit to  dialogue.  

7. In order to observe and report on the situation on the ground the  EU Mission in Armenia (EUMA) is conducting patrols along the Armenian  side of the international border between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The  objective of the mission is to contribute to conflict resolution and  to build trust and confidence between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

8. The EU reiterates its calls for restraint and dialogue among all  parties involved. Continuous efforts are necessary to rebuild  confidence between Armenia and Azerbaijan, in order to secure  sustainable peace and stability in the region for the benefit of the  local civilian population. Swift establishment of dialogue between  Baku and representatives of Armenians living in the former  Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast is crucial, in particular for  solution of the humanitarian crisis in the area, but also concerning  rights and security of Karabakh Armenians and other issues.

9. The EU also notes that the Commissioner for Human Rights of the  Council of Europe stands ready to engage with all the relevant  interlocutors to assist in overcoming the existing humanitarian  challenges.

10. The EU, and in particular the President of the European Council  Charles Michel, has been heavily engaged to supporting the  normalisation process between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

11. At the last trilateral meeting on 15 July 2023, hosted by  President Michel with President Aliyev of Azerbaijan and Prime  Minister Pashinyan of Armenia, the leaders of the two countries  reiterated their strong commitment to the peace process. They notably  reconfirmed their full respect for the other country's territorial  integrity and sovereignty and their unequivocal commitment to the  1991 Almaty Declaration as a political framework for border  delimitation. The ultimate delimitation of the border should be  agreed through negotiations. Further substantial progress on  delimitation is an important factor in reducing tensions, avoiding  misunderstandings and incidents at the international border. 

12. Violence, threats, harsh rhetoric and the spread of  misinformation must cease in order to create an environment conducive  to peace and normalisation talks. The recommitment to dialogue in  good faith remains as urgent as ever.  This requires genuine  commitment by all sides to work towards negotiated outcomes.  Humanitarian issues must be resolved and concrete steps need to be  taken urgently to rebuild trust.

13. The EU remains fully committed to facilitating dialogue between  Armenia and Azerbaijan and to supporting efforts to strengthen peace  and security in the South Caucasus, for the benefit of all people in  the region. We should not lose the momentum built in recent months  for settling the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. It is  important to continue the negotiations."

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