The European Union is increasingly worried about Armenia, and attempts to destabilise it both internally and externally. The matter was discussed by the foreign ministers of the 27 member states meeting in Brussels in the format of the Foreign Affairs Council on Monday (14 November).
Briefing journalists after the meeting, EU High Representative, Josep Borrell said
"The October European Council discussed how to strengthen our cooperation with Armenia and support its democratically elected authorities, its resilience, its security and the continuation of reforms in the country. We decided to beef up our mission in Armenia: more observers and more patrols in sensitive areas of the border.
And we will explore a possible support to Armenia under the European Peace Facility and options for visa-liberalisation for Armenia.
We have to be very much vigilant for any attempts of destabilisation of Armenia, internally and externally. And our message to Azerbaijan has been clear: any violation of Armenia’s territorial integrity will be unacceptable and would have severe consequences for the quality of our relations.
We call for the resumption of negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan and on the work done by the President of the [European] Council [Charles Michel]. We need a peace treaty to be concluded and we are committed to continue our mediation role.
We decided to invite the Armenian Foreign Minister [Ararat Mirzoyan] to join us in the margins of the next, maybe the next, Foreign Affairs Council, it has to be decided - but an upcoming Foreign Affairs Council."
In a statement this morning the Azerbaijani Ministry of Foreign Affairs rejected Borrell's statement and accused the EU of inciting separatism.
The statement, quoted by APA news agency, said that "the accusations made by the representative of the EU, who did not take any steps to encourage Armenia to act in accordance with the norms and principles of international law, are a threat to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan".
"We remind once again that both the 44-day Patriotic War and the 24-hour anti-terrorist measures in September of this year were carried out in the sovereign territories of our country. Azerbaijan restored its sovereignty within the norms and principles of international law by legitimate means. In this case, in relation to Azerbaijan's rightful struggle against existing threats in its sovereign territories, the attempts of the EU foreign policy body to incite separatism in the territory of our country are a source of serious concern".
source: commonspace.eu with the press service of the European Union (Brussels) and APA news agency (Baku)
photo: EU High Representative Josep Borrell