Underscores that Baku-Stepanakert Dialogue is ‘Crucial’
The President of the European Council Charles Michel, for the second time this month, referred to residents and citizens of Artsakh as “Armenians living in the former Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast,” a term used to describe Karabakh before its citizens voted for independence in 1991.
Michel made the reference on Tuesday in a social media post, in which he said that dialogue between Baku and Stepanakert is now “crucial.”
“Dialogue between Baku and Armenians living in former NKAO on their rights and security is now crucial. Important to refrain from maximalist positions and aim for dialogue. After more than 30 years of conflict, wounds take time to heal. Courageous decisions are needed,” Michel said in his post.
The EU leader’s statement comes days before he is expected to host Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan for more talks in Moldova’s capital Chisinau on Thursday.
Earlier this month, Michel hosted the two leaders in Brussels where they agreed to recognize each other’s territorial integrity, with Pashinyan pledging Yerevan’s commitment to allow Artsakh to be controlled by Azerbaijan.
“Essential to reconfirm respect for each other’s sovereignty & territorial integrity, & to advance on border delimitation, also to reduce risks in border areas,” Michel added on Tuesday.
Pashinyan and Aliyev’s talks with Michel on Thursday will also be attended by President Emmanuel Macron of France and the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.