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EU Urges ‘Unconditional’ Ceasefire In Karabakh


BELGIUM -- The EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell gives a press briefing at the end of a foreign affairs ministers council in Brussels, September 21, 2020

The European Union on Sunday deplored continuing hostilities in and around Nagorno-Karabakh and urged the conflicting parties to respect a fresh ceasefire agreement without any preconditions.

“I have just called the ministers of foreign affairs of Armenia and Azerbaijan to impress upon them that the ceasefire should be unconditional and strictly respected by the two sides,” Josep Borrell, the EU’s foreign and security policy chief, said in a statement.

“I have also underlined that attacks on civilians should stop immediately,” he said. “They cannot be justified. I have reiterated that the EU remains ready to support the parties and the OSCE in a long-term solution to the conflict.”

Borrell’s appeal came as deadly fighting continued in the conflict zone despite the supposed entry into force on Saturday night of another Armenian-Azerbaijani ceasefire agreement. The warring sides blamed each other for the truce violations.

Borrell revealed that the agreement was brokered by French President Emmanuel Macron “in coordination with the other OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs,” namely Russia and the United States.

“The EU deplores that, unfortunately, violations continue, with reported fighting in and around Nagorno-Karabakh,” he said. “This leads to more civilian suffering. It aggravates the conflict between States and respective societies, rendering the healing of wounds even more difficult. The population in Nagorno-Karabakh has already experienced excessive suffering.”

The Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers had also reached a truce agreement on October 10 during talks in Moscow mediated by Russia. Fighting along the Karabakh “line of contact” did not stop as a result, however,

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