No:023/23, Commentary by the Press Service Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the decision of the European Council to establish EU Monitoring Mission in Armenia
Azerbaijan takes note of the adopted decision by the Council of the European Union (EU) to establish a civilian EU mission in Armenia.
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.
It must be ensured that 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 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-months 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.
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.