BRUSSELES — European Council President Charles Michel has issued a new statement on ongoing efforts to normalize relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan, meant to clarify previous comments. He has confirmed Armenia’s assertions that it has not agreed to open a permanent land corridor that will connect Azerbaijan to its Nakhichevan exclave also the rights and security of the Armenian population in Karabakh should also be addressed during upcoming negotiations.
For a sustainable normalization of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan, it is important to address all outstanding issues at hand, including advancing discussions on the future peace treaty and addressing the root causes of conflict, President of the European Council Charles Michel said in a statement.
In the context of the past days’ tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan, President Michel reiterated the EU’s commitment to deepen its cooperation with both countries to promote a South Caucasus that is secure, stable, peaceful and prosperous for the benefit of all people living in the region.
He welcomed the first historic meeting of both countries’ Border Commissions on 24 May and stressed the paramount importance of ensuring stability and security along the state border between Armenia and Azerbaijan as delimitation will be pursued.
More broadly, President Michel stressed that for a sustainable normalization of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan, it is important to address all outstanding issues at hand, including advancing discussions on the future peace treaty and addressing the root causes of conflict. In President Michel’s opinion, all core issues that had led to the first Nagorno-Karabakh war as well as to the renewed hostilities in 2020 will need to be addressed by all stakeholders to create conditions for lasting and equitable peace.
As with any legacy of conflict – terminology is particularly sensitive in this context. President Michel’s statement on outcomes of the leaders meeting on 22 May should not be interpreted as favoring a pre-determined outcome of discussions either way. What ultimately matters most is that all issues are comprehensively addressed; this includes rights and security of all populations.
Connectivity was specifically discussed in Brussels on 22 May to advance opportunities for unblocking the region. In this context, both parties confirmed there were no extraterritorial claims with regard to future transport infrastructure. Speculation to the contrary is regrettable.
Finally, President Michel stressed the need to prepare populations for peace and the paramount role public rhetoric plays in this regard. He welcomed Yerevan and Baku’s leadership and stated intentions to engage in good faith in ensuring a conducive atmosphere for the continuation of the talks and expressed the EU’s readiness to step up its support to confidence building measures.
EU Special Representative Klaar will be traveling to the region in the next days to follow up on all aspects under discussion.