BRUSSELS — The European Union on Monday expressed serious concern about territorial claims to Armenia made by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.

“We agreed that Azerbaijan needs to return to substantive peace and normalization talks with Armenia,” Josep Borrell, , the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy said after chairing a meeting of the foreign ministers of EU member states that discussed the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict among other issues.

“The latest territorial claims by President Aliyev are very concerning, and any violation of Armenia’s territorial integrity would be unacceptable and will have severe consequences for our relations with Azerbaijan,” he told a news briefing in Brussels.

Earlier this month, Aliyev renewed his demands for Armenia to open an extraterritorial corridor to Azerbaijan’s Nakhichevan exclave. He also demanded Armenian withdrawal from “eight Azerbaijani villages” and again dismissed Yerevan’s insistence on using the most recent Soviet maps to delimit the Armenian-Azerbaijani border.

Borrell issued the same warning to Baku in November as the EU decided to deploy more observers to Armenia’s volatile border with Azerbaijan. The 27-nation bloc launched the monitoring mission in February 2023 with the stated aim of preventing or reducing ceasefire violations there.

Aliyev twice cancelled talks with PM Nikol Pashinyan which the EU planned to host in October. Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov similarly withdrew from a meeting with his Armenian counterpart scheduled for November 20 in Washington. Baku accused the Western powers of pro-Armenian bias. It now wants to negotiate with Yerevan without third-party mediation.

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