Direct and visible discussions between Baku and Stepanakert are a "step in the right direction" - Klaar

Speaking to the Armenian news outlet on Wednesday (15 March), the EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the crisis in Georgia Toivo Klaar has said that "the commencement of direct and visible discussions between Baku and representatives of the Armenian population of Karabakh is a step in the right direction and as such should be commended."

He added that "there can be no alternative to direct communication when it comes to addressing differences, which must be done exclusively through negotiations between all relevant stakeholders. Such dialogue should aim at building trust and confidence, rather than fuelling confrontation."

"We urge all stakeholders to refrain from negative rhetoric and to focus on the search for compromise solutions which would address the legitimate concerns of all," Klaar said.

Klaar expresses concern over "ceasefire violations", and urges restraint

Speaking amid recent reports of clashes, and following the 5 March shootings about which you can read more here, Klaar expressed concern and urged restraint.

"Following the deadly incident 10 days ago, recent reports of frequent ceasefire violations along the line of contact and the international border remain a cause for concern. The EU strongly urges restraint in order to prevent any further escalation. Violence and coercive measures cannot be an option when working towards dialogue and the normalisation of relations," Klaar said.

He added that the EU "also reiterates its call for the full restoration of freedom and security of movement through the Lachin corridor, and for gas and electricity supplies as well as telecommunications services to Karabakh to continue uninterrupted".

source: with agencies
photo: arminfo