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EU Foreign Policy Chief Meets Armenian, Azeri Leaders


Austria -- EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini meets President Serzh Sarkisian in Vienna, 16 May, 2016

Austria -- EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini meets President Serzh Sarkisian in Vienna, 16 May, 2016

The European Union’s foreign and security policy chief, Federica Mogherini, reportedly called for urgent confidence-building measures in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone during separate meetings with the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents held in Vienna on Monday.

Mogherini met with Serzh Sarkisian and Ilham Aliyev shortly before their face-to-face talks mediated by the United States, Russia and France. According to official Armenian and Azerbaijani sources, she focused on the fallout from the April 2 outbreak of heavy fighting along the Karabakh “line of contact.”

According to Sarkisian’s press office, Mogherini “expressed readiness to support the implementation of confidence-building measures in the conflict zone.”

The office quoted the Armenian president as saying that Azerbaijan must “unconditionally” stick to the Russian-mediate truce that stopped the war in Karabakh in 1994. That would be “the first step” towards renewed Armenian-Azerbaijani negotiations on a peaceful resolution of the dispute, he said.

The Azerbaijani Trend news agency said Aliyev and Mogherini “stressed the importance of observing the ceasefire regime as a result of mutual trust and confidence-building measures.”

Those measures advocated by the U.S., Russian and French mediators are intended to minimize truce violations on along the Karabakh frontlines and the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. They include a mechanism for international investigations of such armed incidents. Baku has opposed them until now.

The EU was quick to express serious concern at the April 2 escalation. “I call on the parties to stop the fighting immediately and observe the cease-fire,” Mogherini said in an April 2 statement.

The EU did not release any statements immediately after her talks with Aliyev and Sarkisian.

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