Ambassador Maragos: EU hopes Armenia, Azerbaijan will come to some understanding during border delimitation talksPolitical
The European Union (EU) is committed to peace and stability in the South Caucasus and is investing important, high-level, political capital in this process. Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Armenia, Ambassador Vassilis Maragos, said this in an interview with Armenpress. The Ambassador said that the EU will also consider further assistance to the forcibly displaced persons of Nagorno-Karabakh who’ve settled in Armenia after the Azerbaijani attack in September.
As for Armenia-EU bilateral relations, Ambassador Maragos said that the EU and Armenia are actively working together to predetermine future domains of their cooperation. Below is an excerpt from the text of the aforesaid interview.
Mr. Ambassador, as you know, after the large-scale Azerbaijani military attack, Nagorno-Karabakh was depopulated, thousands of Armenians were forcibly displaced, leaving their homeland and place of birth. In essence, Azerbaijan implemented its policy of ethnic cleansing in Nagorno-Karabakh. First of all, I would like to hear your opinion about this situation, about the behavior of Azerbaijan. Until this moment, we have heard condemning statements, but why does the EU not take active steps to impose sanctions on Azerbaijan?
Let me be clear, the European Union is committed to peace and stability in this region and we are investing important, high-level, political capital in this process. As you said, the European Union has made very clear its position against the use of force and in support of the human rights of Karabakh Armenians. As EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus Toivo Klaar gave extensive comments on the matter in his interview with Armenpress a couple of days ago, I would not make further comment on these issues.
Azerbaijan has violated the territorial integrity of Armenia, since May 2021, Azerbaijani forces have invaded the sovereign territory of Armenia in some parts. I would like to ask you again to present your position on this fact. How can the EU influence on the diplomatic level the restoration of territorial integrity of Armenia, how can the EU exert pressure on Azerbaijan regarding this issue and the return of Armenian prisoners illegally held in Azerbaijan?
The European Union, including through the EU Mission in Armenia and our contacts with both Yerevan and Baku, has a very clear understanding of the situation on the ground. We are also aware of the importance these issues have for Armenia and more broadly for peace and stability in the region, which is our primary aim. The EU has repeatedly called on the sides to ensure non-use of force and a distancing of forces to reduce tensions and potential escalation on the ground. We have also called for all issues to be addressed peacefully in the framework of meetings of border delimitation commissions and the broader normalization process. We hope that some understanding can be reached in the near future on this and other issues, including during the next meeting of Armenia’s and Azerbaijan’s border commissions, now scheduled for 30 November 2023.