EU Wants Role in Karabakh Peace Efforts

Armenia's Foreign Minister Ara Aivazyan (left) with Josep Borrell, EU's chief diplomat
Armenia's Foreign Minister Ara Aivazyan (left) with Josep Borrell, EU's chief diplomat

Armenia’s Foreign Minister Ara Aivazyan (left) met with Josep Borrell, EU’s chief diplomat, in Brussels on Dec. 18

The European Union is ready and would like to play a role in efforts to bring about a settlement to the Karabakh conflict, the EU’s chief diplomat Josep Borrell said Friday, throwing his support behind efforts led by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs.

”The EU stands ready to assume a role in supporting and shaping a durable settlement to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, in close complementarity with the Minsk Group Co-Chairs. We are ready to use our peace-building and reconstruction tools to support this,” Borrell said at session of the EU-Armenia Partnership Council in Brussels, which was attended by Armenia’s Foreign Minister Ara Aivazyan.

Borrell also said that the EU, “fully supports the OSCE Minsk Group format, and we expect that the Co-Chairs will continue—or start, because they have been interrupted for years until the [recent] war started—negotiations for a comprehensive and sustainable settlement of the conflict.”

The EU leader, who welcomed the end to military hostilities in Karabakh last month, lamented recent reports of ceasefire violations.

“The ceasefire agreement that Russia brokered last 10 November, around 40 days ago, has certainly prevented further loss of life. But last week, unhappily, we have heard reports from both sides of ceasefire violations. Full respect for the ceasefire remains imperative,” he said.

“The EU welcomes and supports Armenia’s strong commitment to further pursue its reform agenda and to fully implement our bilateral agreement, despite the challenges the country is confronted with,” said Borrell.

He also that his attempts to arrange a meeting with the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan were not successful.

“As the two [Armenian and Azerbaijani] Ministers have been in touch with me, we tried to have a trilateral contact—European Union, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. It has not been possible, so I will meet with the two Ministers separately,” Borrell said.

He met with Aivazyan before the partnership council meeting and discussed issues of regional security, as well as advancing relations with Yerevan.

In discussing the Turkish-Azerbaijani aggression against the people of Artsakh and its consequences, Aivazyan said the violation of the values underlying the Eastern Partnership Program was unacceptable and it set a dangerous precedent for trying to resolve conflicts by force with the active support of Turkey.

Aivazyan voiced concern about Azerbaijan’s actions, which with the direct involvement of Turkey and foreign armed terrorists he said endanger the safety of Europe’s eastern neighbors, and could have catastrophic consequences for regional security.

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