Azerbaijan says newly formed EU mission to Armenia must not affect normalization

Azerbaijan on Tuesday said the deployment of the newly established civilian EU Mission in Armenia (EUMA) must not affect the normalization process between Baku and Yerevan.

“We remain of the firm position that such an engagement must not be exploited for derailing the normalization process between Azerbaijan and Armenia, including in the context of border delimitation process that should be carried out exclusively on a bilateral basis,” a statement by the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry read.

The statement said it must be ensured that the deployment of the EUMA takes into account the legitimate interests of Azerbaijan.

“Azerbaijani side expects that in the process of deliberations on the EU mission, utmost care will be exercised to draw necessary lessons from the past experience,” the statement further said.

Baku looks positively to EU engagement in Armenia as it would help the normalization process, but serious deviations were made from agreements in discussion in Prague last October following “biased approaches taken by some EU member states,” the statement said.

“This, in turn, affected the overall trust as regards to the credibility and transparency of the decision-making within the EU," it read.

Azerbaijan has communicated to EU representatives that the bloc's engagement in Armenia through a mission must not "serve as a pretext for Armenia to evade" from it commitments.

On Monday, the Council of the EU announced that it established the EUMA to secure the border areas of Armenia and "ensure an environment conducive to normalization efforts between Armenia and Azerbaijan supported by the EU.”

Relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.

In the fall of 2020, during 44 days of heavy fighting, Azerbaijan liberated a significant part of Karabakh and a Russian-brokered peace agreement was subsequently signed.

The peace agreement has not, however, ended conflict along the border and other disputes between the two countries.

Source: Anadolu Agency