Members of the European Parliament slammed Azerbaijan for its attack on Armenia and condemned what they called “borderization” since Azerbaijan incursion into Armenia in May.
The chair of European Parliament’s Delegation for relations with the South Caucasus, Marina Kaljurand, the European Parliament’s Standing Rapporteur on Armenia, Andrey Kovatchev, and the European Parliament’s Standing Rapporteur on Azerbaijan, Željana Zovko released a joint statement following the Azerbaijani attack on Armenia on November 16.
Below is the text of the statement.
We are seriously concerned by yesterday’s heavy fighting, which followed the recent increase in tension on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
The military operation launched by Azerbaijan in response to alleged provocations amounts to the worst violation to-date of last year’s November 9 ceasefire agreement, leaving an as yet unconfirmed number of killed, wounded and captured soldiers.
We urge the rapid de-escalation of the situation and welcome the engagement of European Council President and the reported Russian-mediated ceasefire. We reiterate that any possible disagreements about the border must be addressed through negotiations in a border delimitation and demarcation process, not through the use of force and unilateral actions.
We condemn any attempts at “borderisation”, as observed since the incursion of Azerbaijani troops into Armenian territory on May 13. We support and call for the opening of economic and transport connections as foreseen in the November 9 ceasefire agreement, which would be highly beneficial for the entire region.
This includes the connection between the western regions of Azerbaijan and the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic.
To succeed, the parties should follow the text of the agreement and avoid a too extensive interpretation.
Moreover, we are concerned by reports of hindered traffic on roads that connect Armenian towns and villages through Azerbaijani territory and believe that such behavior contradicts the spirit of this agreement and unduly hampers the lives of local citizens.
We also regret that despite numerous calls from the international community, including the European Parliament resolution of May 20, 2021, many Armenian detainees held in connection with the conflict have yet to be released, and we renew our appeal to the Azerbaijani authorities on this issue. We also reiterate our call to exchange all up-to-date maps of minefields to permit civilians to return to former conflict regions
Once again, we recall the EU’s commitment to support confidence-building measures and to address any issues at the negotiating table, in particular through the resumption of negotiations on a lasting conflict settlement and the future status of the Nagorno-Karabakh region in the process led by Minsk Group Co-Chairs.