Co-op between EU, Azerbaijan’s peace platform possible,says EU Rep
The EU does not exclude the possibility of cooperation with the Azerbaijan-Armenia Platform for Peace, initiated by Azerbaijan,EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the crisis in Georgia Herbert Salber, who has completed his visit to Azerbaijan, told April 21.
Salber said that the Azerbaijan-Armenia Platform is at the very beginning of its activities.
“I met yesterday one of the promoters of the platform,” he said. “I am open for contacts. I will try to understand what this platform is about.”
During his recent visit, Salber met with the Azerbaijani president, deputy foreign minister, and other representatives of the country’s government and tried to see where the process of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is now.
“I believe that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict should be solved in a peaceful way, without military means what is very important,” he said.
“The EU is not directly involved as the mediator to the Nagorno-Karabakh resolution process,” he said. “We recognize that this is the prerogative of the OSCE Minsk Group.”
“When I hear criticism against the OSCE Minsk Group’s activity, I have to say one thing, the peace deal has to be made between the sides of the conflict,” he said. “International Community can only assist, can only make proposals, but the international community can not somehow push two sides into an agreement.”
“A political settlement is possible if the ceasefire is respected,” he said.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.
As for the EU-Azerbaijan relations, Salber stressed that the relations are undoubtedly at a high level, especially after EU’s High Representative Federica Mogherini’s visit to Azerbaijan in early 2017 and the agreements on concluding new agreements that are being prepared in Brussels./ Trend