Azerbaijani MFA comments on European Council's decision to establish: The legitimate interests of Azerbaijan should be taken into account

Azerbaijani MFA comments on European Council
# 24 January 2023 09:35 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan takes note of the adopted decision by the Council of the European Union (EU) to establish a civilian EU mission in Armenia, APA reports citing the Foreign Ministry of Azerbaijan.

"We remain of the firm position that such an engagement must not be exploited for derailing the normalization process between Azerbaijan and Armenia, including in the context of border delimitation process that should be carried out exclusively on a bilateral basis," the ministry said.

According to the statement, it must be ensured that the deployment of an 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.

"Azerbaijani side expects that in the process of deliberations on the EU mission, utmost care will be exercised to draw necessary lessons from the past experience.

"EU’s engagement in the territory of Armenia started with the deployment of a civilian monitoring capacity following the agreement reached at 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 will help the normalization process.

"Despite clearly defined parameters and purposes of two-month long period mission agreed at the highest level, the actual deployment of the monitoring capacity 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 as regards to the credibility and transparency of the decision-making within the EU.

"As a matter of fact, the presence of EU monitoring capacity 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, with groundless conditioning. As such, initial expectations that EU mission would contribute to taking normalization agenda forward were undermined," the ministry said.

According to it, following the end of two-month long civilian EU mission in Armenia and given the interest of the EU to continue its presence, Azerbaijan has engaged in good faith in consultations with the EU and conveyed its assessment, expectations and concerns clearly and in a transparent manner.

"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 from fulfilment of undertaken commitments.

"Exploitation of such a presence of the EU against the already existing dialogue mechanisms is detrimental, and must be avoided," the ministry said.