The leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan accept the EU civilian mission along the border

EU Council President Charles Michel, Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan, French President Emmanuel Macron, and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in Prague on 6 October 2022 EU Council President Charles Michel, Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan, French President Emmanuel Macron, and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in Prague on 6 October 2022 © Photo by primeminister.am.

2 November 2022

The EU is ready to send a monitoring mission, the first international presence launched from Paris and Brussels since the conflict began in 1988.

On Monday 17 October EU foreign ministers agreed to send a mission along the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan.The decision was announced following the meeting of the leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan, France and the head of the European Council on 6 October in Prague.

The Council of the EU has decided to deploy up to 40 experts along the Armenian side of the international border with Azerbaijan in the coming weeks "with the aim of monitoring, analyzing and reporting on the situation in the region". The mission, as stated by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, "will aim to strengthen confidence in an unstable situation that puts lives at risk and puts the resolution process at risk of conflicts ".

The decision comes after the clashes in September along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border that raised fears of a new conflict. Armenia and Azerbaijan have already fought two wars on the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, in the 1990s and 2020. In the clashes that erupted in 2020, the Armenian army attacked Azerbaijani civilians and forces, violating several humanitarian ceasefire agreements. fire. The fighting ended in a Russian-brokered deal on November 10, 2020, however, the ceasefire has been broken several times since then. In September 2022, at least 286 people were killed on both sides.

The EU, which has positioned itself as the main mediator of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, carried out a mission to clarify the potential functions and powers of European observers, holding meetings with foreign and defense ministries and visiting border settlements. Armenia hopes the deployment of EU observers will serve as a deterrent to Azerbaijan, which is pressuring Yerevan to sign a peace treaty. In Moscow, EU peacekeeping efforts are seen as an attempt to oust Russia from its former role as moderator in the Armenian-Azerbaijani process.

by Jasmine Label

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