European Parliament member Costas Mavrides initiated a letter, which was signed by 29 other members of the European Parliament from seven political groups, addressed to EU High Representative/Vice-President of the European Commission Joseph Borrell calling on the EU to urge Azerbaijan to put in place genuine confidence-building measure on the border, reported the European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy.
Specifically, the European lawmakers called for the EU to use it influence to urge official Baku to install investigative mechanism to monitor ceasefire violations that the OSCE called for after the 2016 April War.
On Wednesday, Borrell mediated a discussion between Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers Zohrab Mnatsakanyan and Jeyhun Bayramov, who replaced Azerbaijan’s long-time Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov last week.
“I urged both sides to reaffirm their commitment to a ceasefire and undertake immediate measures to prevent further escalation,” Borrell said in a Twitter post after the phone call.
According to an official statement from the EU on the phone call, Borrell told the parties to \ “refrain from action and rhetoric that provoke tension, in particular from any further threats to critical infrastructure in the region.”
“He also stressed the need for meaningful re-engagement in substantive negotiations on the key aspects of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement under the auspices of the [OSCE Minsk Group] Co-Chairs; both ministers concurred on this,” read the EU statement.
Reportedly Bayramov said that Baku was looking for “concrete results” from future talks with Armenia on the Karabakh conflict settlement, adding that Azerbaijan remained committed to a peaceful solution to the issue. Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev has called the OSCE mediation efforts “meaningless” and questioned its calls to refrain from a military solution to the conflict.
According to the Armenia’s Foreign Ministry, Mnatsakanyan “emphasized the importance of implementation of the previous agreements on reducing tensions, restoring and strengthening the ceasefire.”
The said confidence-building elements are precisely what the Members of the European Parliament referenced in their letter to Borrell. Below is the text of the letter.
Dear Mr. Borrell,
Amid a global pandemic, we have been witnessing a dangerous escalation of the situation on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan since 12 July 2020, leading to tragic losses on both sides and with a potential to turn into a war, destabilizing the whole region and thus the eastern neighborhood of the European Union.
While clearly expressing our full support for the efforts of the OSCE Minsk group and the 2009 Basic Principles i.e. the non-use of force, territorial integrity and the equal rights and self-determination of peoples, it is essential to actively work towards tackling hate-speech and war rhetoric.
It is crucial that the EU uses its leverage to put in place genuine and effective confidence-building measures, notably the OSCE investigative mechanism for cease-fire violations which would prevent the sides from blaming each other for initiating deadly attacks. Armenia has agreed to discuss the details of the mechanism. Azerbaijan must do the same.
The sides must immediately resume negotiations and work towards a sustainable, peaceful resolution of the conflict. It is evident that there can be no military solution to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. It is our goal to have a peaceful, prosperous and safe EU neighborhood and we must take concrete steps in this direction.
Alfonsi François, Ara-Kovacs Attila, Asimakopoulou Anna-Misel, Barrena Pernando, Castaldo Fabio Massimo, Christoforou Lefteris, Fourlas Loucas, Fragkos Emmanouil, Georgiou Giorgos, Georgoulis Alexis, Guillaume Sylvie, Hautala Heidi, Heide Hannes, Kaili Eva, Kouloglou Stelios, Kountoura Elena, Kovatchev Andrey, Kympouropoulos Stelios, Liberadzki Bogusław, Mavrides Costas, Papadakis Demetris , Papadimoulis Dimitrios, Santos Isabel, Schreijer-Pierik Annie, Sonneborn Martin, Spyraki Maria, Stefanuta Nicolae, Tomac Eugen, Vozemberg Elissavet.