Europe’s Legislative Body also Calls for the Release Armenian POWs
The European Parliament on Wednesday approved a resolution in which it urged Azerbaijan to open the Lachin Corridor, withdraw its troops from Armenia’s sovereign territory and release Armenian prisoners of war being held captive in that country.
The Armenian-related stipulations were part of a larger resolution that approved the implementation of the common foreign and security policy highlighted in its 2022 annual report.
“The European Parliament strongly denounces Azerbaijan’s illegal blockade of the Lachin corridor, in violation of the trilateral statement of 9 November 2020, as it threatens to precipitate an intentional humanitarian crisis for the people of Nagorno-Karabakh; demands that the Azerbaijani authorities restore freedom of movement through the Lachin corridor with immediate effect,” said an amendment to the report directly addressing the current blockade of Artsakh.
The report strongly condemned what it called “the latest military aggression by Azerbaijan on September 12, 2022 on the sovereign territory of Armenia, which constituted a breach of the ceasefire and is having serious consequences on the peace process.”
It also voiced concern about “the alleged war crimes and inhuman treatment perpetrated by the armed forces of Azerbaijan against Armenian prisoners of war and civilians.”
The European Parliament also reiterated that the territorial integrity of Armenia must be fully respected and underlined the EU’s readiness to be more actively involved in settling the region’s protracted conflicts.
The European Parliament “calls on the Azerbaijani authorities, therefore, to immediately withdraw from all parts of the territory of Armenia and to release the prisoners of war under their control; recalls that only diplomatic means will bring a just and lasting response to the conflict that will benefit the populations of Armenia and Azerbaijan.”
Other provisions of the report directly impacting Armenia and Artsakh state that the European Parliament:
Is convinced that a sustainable peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan cannot be achieved through military means but needs a comprehensive political settlement in accordance with international law, including the principles enshrined in the UN Charter, the 1975 Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Helsinki Final Act, as well the OSCE Minsk Group’s 2009 Basic Principles of territorial integrity, self-determination and non-use of force;
Supports the initiative taken by the President of the European Council Charles Michel to convene and mediate bilateral meetings of the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Brussels and encourages the work on the ground by the EU’s special representative for the South Caucasus and the crisis in Georgia;
Believes that the EU can play the role of an honest broker to prevent further escalation and achieve sustainable peace; urges Armenia and Azerbaijan to fully engage in the drafting of a comprehensive peace treaty; reiterates that such a treaty has to address all the root causes of the conflict, including the rights and security of the Armenian population living in Nagorno-Karabakh, the return of displaced persons and refugees to their homes under the control of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, inter-religious dialogue, the protection and conservation of cultural, religious and historical heritage and territorial integrity;
Calls for the full implementation of the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement with Armenia and underlines the need to continue negotiations on the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement between the EU and Azerbaijan;
Insists that any deepening of EU relations with Azerbaijan must remain conditional on the country making substantial progress on the respect for human rights, the rule of law, democracy and fundamental freedoms.