The foreign ministers of the European Union on Monday approved a proposal to expand the bloc’s monitoring mission along the Armenia border with Azerbaijan, the EU’s foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said in Brussels.
The decision was made during the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council session, which also discussed the normalization of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
“The Council discussed how to strengthen cooperation with Armenia and support its democratically elected authorities, its resilience, its security and the continuation of reforms in the country,” Borrell said after the meeting.
“We decided to beef up our mission in Armenia with more servants and more patrols in the sensitive areas of the border. And we will explore possible support to Armenia under the European Peace Facility and an option for visa liberalization for Armenia,” Borrell added.
“We must be very vigilant about any attempts to destabilize the situation in Armenia, internally or externally,” said Borrell.
“Our message to Azerbaijan has been very clear: any violation of Armenia’s territorial integrity will be deemed unacceptable and will result in serious consequences for the quality of our relations,” Borrell emphasized.
“We call for the resumption of negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan within the framework of the work done by the President of the European Council, because we need it. It is possible to sign a peace agreement and we are committed to maintain our role as mediators,” said Borrell.
The EU deployed its monitoring mission to Armenia last year. Last month Canada joined the mission as the only non-EU country. European leaders have said the expansion of the mission will allow all 27 EU member states to participate.
The foreign ministers’ decision will be submitted to the European Council, which will discuss the measure and propose the parameters of its implementation.