The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan remains of the firm position that such an engagement must not be exploited for derailing the normalization process between Azerbaijan and Armenia, says the official commentary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan on the decision of the European Council to establish EU monitoring mission in Armenia in order to “contribute to stability in border areas”.
It must be ensured that deployment of the EU mission in Armenia duly takes into account the legitimate interests of Azerbaijan, and such an undertaking by the EU takes place in a manner that does not undermine mutual trust and confidence. The Azerbaijani side expects that in the process of deliberations on EU mission, utmost care will be exercised to draw necessary lessons from the past experience, the statement stresses.
The document points out that EU’s engagement in the territory of Armenia started with the deployment of a civilian monitoring capacity following the agreement reached at the Prague meeting on October 6, 2022 among the leaders of Azerbaijan, Armenia, France, and the President of the EU Council. Azerbaijan agreed to such an undertaking with the understanding that it would help the normalization process.
Despite clearly defined parameters and purposes of the two-month-long mission agreed at the highest level, the actual deployment of the monitoring mission was accompanied by serious deviations from the agreements reached in Prague, following biased approaches taken by some EU member states. This, in turn, affected the overall trust with regard to the credibility and transparency of the decision making within the EU.
The presence of the EU monitoring mission in Armenia coincided with increased attempts by Armenia to derail the normalization process in all its three tracks, including torpedoing the trilateral meeting of the leaders of Azerbaijan, Armenia and the EU Council. As such, initial expectations that the EU mission would contribute to taking normalization agenda forward were undermined.
Given the interest of the EU to continue its presence in Armenia following the end of two-month long civilian mission, Azerbaijan has engaged in good faith in consultations with the EU and conveyed its position, expectations and concerns clearly.
In a series of consultations held at various levels with EU representatives, it has been communicated by Azerbaijan that engagement of EU in Armenia through a mission must not serve as a pretext for Armenia to evade fulfilment of undertaken commitments. Exploitation of such a presence of the EU against the already existing dialogue mechanisms is detrimental and must be avoided.