In a statement released on Wednesday, the 27-nation bloc said it is “deeply concerned over the recent violence along the Armenia-Azerbaijani border, which has regrettably led to loss of life.”
“The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, discussed the evolving situation with the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, and the Prime Minister of Armenia, Nikol Pashinian, over the phone and called for urgent de-escalation and full respect of the ceasefire.
“The EU urges Armenia and Azerbaijan to exercise utmost restraint, disengage their military forces on the ground and respect the commitments undertaken in the framework of the two trilateral agreements. We call on both sides to resume negotiations to work towards a comprehensive settlement of outstanding issues, including border demarcation,” the EU said.
The EU stressed that it supports the statement of the Minsk Group Co-Chairs of November 15.
“The EU reiterates its commitment to work with Armenia and Azerbaijan to help overcome tensions and contribute to building a South Caucasus that is secure, stable, prosperous and at peace for the benefit of all people living in this region,” the statement concluded.
Earlier, on November 16, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken also said that Washington was “deeply concerned” about reports of intensive fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
In a statement the top U.S. diplomat said: “We urge both sides to take immediate concrete steps to reduce tensions and avoid further escalation. We also call on the sides to engage directly and constructively to resolve all outstanding issues, including border demarcation.”
“As noted in the Minsk Group Co-Chairs’ statement on November 15, the recent increase in tension between Armenia and Azerbaijan underscores the need for a negotiated, comprehensive, and sustainable settlement of all remaining issues related to or resulting from the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” Blinken added.
Armenia and Azerbaijan accused each other of provoking fresh fighting along their border on Tuesday, with both sides reporting casualties following hours of hostilities that were halted due to a ceasefire arranged by Russia.
Armenia continues to accuse Azerbaijan of occupying dozens of square kilometers of its sovereign territory. Azerbaijan rejects the accusations.