21 Sep 2023 22:10

Azerbaijan bears responsibility for Karabakh Armenians' security - Borrell

BRUSSELS. Sept 21 (Interfax) - The European Union has condemned Azerbaijan's military operation against the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh and regrets the loss of life resulting from the escalation, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said.

"Azerbaijan bears the responsibility to ensure the rights and security of the Karabakh Armenians, including their right to live in their homes without intimidation and discrimination. Forced displacement of the civilian population through military or other means will be met with a strong response by the EU. The EU stands ready to take appropriate actions in the event of a further deterioration of the situation," Borrell said in a statement published in Brussels on Thursday.

The document states that the EU has taken note of the statements about reaching a ceasefire agreement.

"We expect an immediate and complete cessation of hostilities, and for the ceasefire to be respected. The EU calls on Azerbaijan to allow immediate and unimpeded humanitarian access to the population in need, including through a full re-opening of the Lachin corridor in line with the ICJ Orders of February and July 2023. The humanitarian actors should be able to operate freely," the statement said.

The EU and its member states are ready to provide urgent humanitarian aid, Borrell said.

"The EU reiterates its support to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of both Azerbaijan and Armenia. We call on Azerbaijan to reaffirm its unequivocal commitment to the territorial integrity of Armenia, in line with the 1991 Almaty Declaration," he said.

Borrell went on to reaffirm the EU's readiness to further support the democratically elected authorities of Armenia and further democratic reform in the country.

The European Union Mission in Armenia (EUMA) "will continue to observe and report on the security situation along the Armenian side of the international border with Azerbaijan," he said.

"The EU calls for the resumption of negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan on all pending issues [...] and remains fully committed to supporting such negotiations," Borrell said.