BRUSSELS — The European Union has decided to deploy an additional 71 observers and experts to Armenia’s volatile border with Azerbaijan.
The EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, announced the decision late on Monday following a meeting of the foreign ministers of EU member states held in Brussels. He said they agreed to “increase our presence on the ground from 138 staff to 209.”
“The fact that we have decided to increase by such an important number our staff on this mission shows our clear commitment to stability on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan and an important contribution to the peace efforts,” Borrell told a news briefing.
He said the expansion of the monitoring mission, approved by the ministers in principle last month, also reflects the EU’s deepening relations with Armenia.
“Armenia clearly sees the benefits of increasing cooperation with us and we are ready to respond positively,” added the EU foreign policy chief.
The mission was launched in February at the request of the Armenian government and with the stated aim of preventing or reducing ceasefire violations along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border.