EU backs international mediation in Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Jul 17, 2021, 06:31 PM(IST)

European Union Photograph:( AFP )

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The European Council's President called on the Minsk Group "to assume its responsibilities and address different topics" of the post-conflict settlement. The Minsk group consists of French, Russian and US diplomats

European Council President Charles Michel said on Saturday that the European Union supported international efforts to ease tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Both countries fought a war last year over Nagorno-Karabakh region.

On a visit to Yerevan, Michel expressed "the European Union's support for the Minsk Group" -- which consists of French, Russian and US diplomats -- as mediators to the longstanding territorial dispute. 

The war between Azerbaijan and Armenia claimed 6500 lives. It ended with a Russian-brokered ceasefire. Armenia had to cede territory it had controlled for decades. 

Since May, tensions are running high again. Armenia has accused Azerbaijan military of crossing its southern border. Both countries have reported occasional shootouts along their shared border

The European Council's President called on the Minsk Group "to assume its responsibilities and address different topics" of the post-conflict settlement.

The Minsk Group has been largely inactive since the ceasefire as Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev had insisted "the Karabakh conflict has been resolved for good" and has rejected Yerevan's calls to negotiate on the region's political status. 

Populated by ethnic Armenians, Karabakh is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan.

Ethnic Armenian separatists in Nagorno-Karabakh broke away from Azerbaijan as the Soviet Union collapsed, and the ensuing conflict has claimed around 30,000 lives.

Yerevan was the first leg of Michel's regional tour of the South Caucasus. He is due to meet Aliyev in Baku on Sunday and to hold Monday talks with the leaders of Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine in Georgia's Black Sea city of Batumi. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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