EU reacts to military escalation in Karabakh

The European Union has reacted to the military escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh following the launch of what Azerbaijan calls an "anti terrorist operation". In a statement, the EU called for an immediate end to hostilities and a return to negotiations and warned that the "military escalation should not be used as a pretext to force the exodus of the local population."

In a statement issued in Brussels, EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, said "the European Union condemns the military escalation along the Line of Contact and in other locations in Karabakh. The EU deplores the loss of lives brought by the escalation. We call for the immediate cessation of hostilities and for Azerbaijan to stop the current military activities.

There is an urgent need to return to dialogue between Baku and Karabakh Armenians. This military escalation should not be used as a pretext to force the exodus of the local population.

Violence needs to stop in order to provide a conducive environment for peace and normalisation talks. Genuine commitment by all sides is required to work towards negotiated outcomes. The EU remains fully engaged to facilitate the dialogue."

Statements on broadly the same lines have been made on social media outlets by other EU officials, including EU Council president, Charles Michel, and EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus, Toivo Klaar.

In the meantime, France has said it was consulting with European and American colleagues with a view to convening an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council.

source: with the European Union

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Opinion: Azerbaijan needs to provide its vision on the future of Karabakh Armenians

"The current impasse on the movement on the Lachin corridor can lead to the complete evacuation of the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh. Besides the legal, moral, and logistical impediments to implementing such an initiative, it will become a geopolitical disaster for the region. It will only deepen the mistrust and hatred between Armenians and Azerbaijanis and prepare a subsequent cycle of violence in the future, as Armenians will take all steps to avenge such a national humiliation", writes Benyamin Poghosyan, in this op-ed for KarabakhSpace. There are no optimal solutions that will satisfy all sides. The choice will be made between bad, worse, and the worst options. The only way out is to find a "middle way," which may include restoring the supply of goods to Nagorno Karabakh via the Lachin corridor and simultaneously using other routes. Meanwhile, Azerbaijan should finally present its vision of the future of Nagorno Karabakh Armenians, with a detailed description of their rights and mechanisms to protect them. The general statements about Armenians having the same rights as any other Azerbaijani citizen according to the Azerbaijani constitution are not sufficient. Otherwise, even if a short-term solution alleviates the humanitarian disaster in Nagorno Karabakh, the crisis will remain there,with no light at the end of the tunnel.