EU welcomes new Armenia-Azerbaijan ceasefire, deplores violence
Brussels, Oct. 19 (IANS): The European Union (EU) welcomed the new ceasefire reached between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the conflict-ridden Nagorno-Karabakh region, but denounced any violation of the latest humanitarian truce.
In a statement issued on Sunday by the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy Josep Borrell, the bloc welcomed the joint announcement of the ceasefire was made by Armenia and Azerbaijan following the mediation efforts by French President Emmanuel Macron, in coordination with the other OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, reports Xinhua news agency.
But it “deplores that, unfortunately, violations continue, with reported fighting in and around Nagorno Karabakh”, said the statement.
“This leads to more civilian suffering. It aggravates the conflict between States and respective societies, rendering the healing of wounds even more difficult,” said Borrell,
“The EU strongly condemns all such attacks irrespective of their origin.”
The EU official said he spoke to the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan “to impress upon them that the ceasefire should be unconditional and strictly respected”.
Azerbaijan and Armenia traded accusations of violating the new ceasefire on Sunday, hours after they agreed for the second time to halt fighting in the disputed region.
Following trilateral negotiations between Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia that lasted for over two hours in Moscow, the first ceasefire was enforced in the region on October 11.
Renewed clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia erupted on September 27, with intense battles raging in Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory which is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but mostly governed by the Republic of Artsakh, a de facto independent state with an Armenian ethnic majority.
The area experienced flare-ups of violence in the summer of 2014, April 2016 and this July.
Armenia and Azerbaijan went to war over the region in 1988-94, eventually declaring a ceasefire.
However, a settlement was never reached.