“The EU is deeply concerned over the recent violence along the Armenia-Azerbaijani border, which has regrettably led to the loss of life,” Peter Stano, a spokesperson for the bloc’s diplomatic service, said in a statement.
The bloc called on both sides “to exercise utmost restraint, disengage their military forces on the ground,” the statement read, urging Armenia and Azerbaijan to respect the cease-fire and return to negotiations.
Charles Michel, the head of the European Council presiding over the EU leaders’ summits, repeated the same message to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian in separate phone calls.
Seven Azerbaijani service members were killed and 10 more wounded in clashes with Armenia on the border between the two ex-Soviet nations, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said Wednesday.
“The situation on the Azerbaijani-Armenian state border has stabilized since the evening of Nov. 16,” the statement read. “The provocation and military adventurism committed by Armenia on the state border completely failed.”
“We strongly condemn Armenia’s continuing military provocations out of vengeance. The military-political leadership of Armenia is directly responsible for escalating the situation in the region and preventing the implementation of the tripartite statement,” Baku also said.
It added that it will respond to “all kinds of threats and military provocations against the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan within the internationally recognized borders.”
The fighting ceased on Tuesday evening after Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu spoke with his Armenian and Azerbaijani counterparts and urged them to stop.
The Russian-brokered cease-fire held Wednesday at the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, officials said, a day after deadly clashes between the archrivals sparked fears of another flare-up in their territorial dispute.
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Wednesday described Armenia’s recent provocations targeting Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity as terrorist attacks.
“Azerbaijan is not alone. Turkey will not leave Azerbaijan alone,” he said, adding they will all take steps together to stabilize the region and bring peace.
“Let’s look at the steps taken by Azerbaijan, which took back its own lands. Significant projects have been implemented for the stability of the region. (The country) proposed a comprehensive peace agreement,” he said and underlined that Armenia must see that these provocations are futile and it will never yield any results.