Published: 24 January 2023 16:54
“The location of the European Union mission in Armenia should appropriately take into account the legitimate interests of Azerbaijan, and Brussels should ensure that the activities of this mission are carried out in a way that does not undermine mutual trust and confidence.”
This statement was reflected in the report of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan (MFA) in response to the European Union sending a civilian mission to Armenia within the framework of the common security and defense policy of the Council of Europe.
The MFA of Azerbaijan believes that such an activity should not be misused to undermine the normalization process between Azerbaijan and Armenia, including the border delimitation process, which should be carried out on a bilateral basis only.
He affirms that the Azerbaijani side expects that maximum attention will be paid to drawing the necessary lessons from past experience in the process of discussions regarding the start of the European Union mission.
The Ministry reminds that the monitoring activity of the EU in the territory of Armenia started with the deployment of the civilian monitoring mission based on the agreement reached at the Prague meeting between the leaders of Azerbaijan, Armenia, France, and the EU Council Chairman on October 6, 2022:
In a series of consultations held with EU representatives at different levels, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs claimed the need for the presence of the institution’s mission in Armenia not to become an “excuse for Yerevan to refuse to fulfill its obligations”
On January 23, the Council of the European Union adopted a decision to establish a civilian mission on the Azerbaijani-Armenina border within the framework of the common security and defense policy. The aim of the mission is to serve stability in the borderland regions of Armenia.
On October 6, 2022, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev communicated at a meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) that a four-way meeting was organized to happen in Prague with the participation of the President of France, the President of the Council of Europe, the Prime Minister of Armenia and the President of Azerbaijan in Prague within the framework of the new platform of the “European Political Union”:
“As a result of several hours of negotiations at the meeting, a decision was made to send a 40-member civilian mission of the European Union to the territory of Armenia near the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. Later it became known to us that their number will be 50 people. They will be there for at least 2 months. The purpose of this mission, as we have seen, is to assist the parties in drawing borders and defining issues related to delimitation. That’s why we agreed to it.”
Aliyev further noted that there were attempts to send this mission to the Azerbaijani side: “However, these attempts were firmly rejected by us. Therefore, the mission will be located on the territory of Armenia, in the area of responsibility of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). Yesterday, the first group of European representatives went to Armenia to determine the placement of this mission.”