No:136/24, Response by Aykhan Hajizada, MFA Spokesperson, to the media inquiry on a joint EU-Armenia-US conference to be held on 5 April 2024 in Brussels

Question 1: According to the reports, on 5 April 2024 a joint EU-Armenia-US conference is to be held between Armenian Prime Minister, US Secretary of State, and European Commission President, with the plans of signing a document on security guarantees for Armenia. It creates an impression of a trilateral military alliance being established in the region. What is Azerbaijan’s position on the planned conference?


Answer: As it is well-known, the Azerbaijani side on numerous occasions has clearly expressed its position on certain approaches and actions towards our region by the European Union, and some of its member states in particular.


The fact is that the ongoing peace process between Azerbaijan and Armenia was initiated by the Azerbaijani side, where it has always demonstrated a constructive stance on all issues of the post-conflict normalization. Moreover, during the Prague quadrilateral meeting of 6 October 2022, the Azerbaijani side was asked to give its consent on the deployment of a short-term EU Monitoring Capacity (EUMCAP) comprising 40 EU civilian monitoring experts along the Armenian side of the undelimited border, which was supposed to contribute to confidence-building between Azerbaijan and Armenia.


Unfortunately, after original two months term, without Azerbaijan’s agreement, the EUMCAP was transformed into the EU Mission in Armenia (EUMA), with significant term extension and much larger number of monitors. The Mission has since been actively exploited as an anti-Azerbaijani propaganda tool. Additionally, with Canada joining the EUMA, it resembles a de facto NATO mission. This has also been accompanied by the statements calling the EUMA a deterrence force, and creating an illusion of a possible intervention by Azerbaijan, which has no ground whatsoever.    


Thus, the EU was urged to take all necessary measures with a view to ensuring that the EUMA acts strictly as a neutral, civilian and unarmed mission, in line with its declared mandate, and refrains from any activity targeting Azerbaijan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, or affects its legitimate security interests in any other manner.


Another matter for concern is a France-led campaign aimed at militarizing Armenia, which also includes new pledges of larger military supplies (including lethal and offensive types of weapons). Another EU member state, Greece, has recently made statements on deepening of military cooperation with Armenia. Additionally, plans of provision of a military assistance to Armenia under the European Peace Facility and reports that the April 5th meeting envisages military components cause further concerns and undermine peace-building efforts in the region.


Interestingly, being a victim of an armed aggression, occupation and ethnic cleansing for almost 30 years, and even with four UN Security Council resolutions demanding immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of the Armenian occupying forces, Azerbaijan has never received this kind of unconditional support from the EU and US.


Question 2: What do you think of a potential effect of this conference on the ongoing peace process in the region?


Answer: Such actions by the EU and US clearly have a one-sided and biased character, and are based on double standard approach. The mentioned conference is not conducted in a fully transparent manner, lacks regional inclusivity, and runs contrary to promoted and much needed confidence-building, and integrity in the region. It creates new dividing lines and so-called spheres of influence in the region, instead of encouraging the Armenian side to negotiate in good faith.


Given the revanchist mood in Armenia, such an open pro-Armenian public manifestation by Washington and Brussels might create a dangerous illusion in Armenia that EU and US are going to support Armenia in its possible renewed provocations against Azerbaijan. In such case, the EU and US will share responsibility for any possible destabilizing action by Armenia.


We once again call upon all sides to refrain from steps that are counterproductive to the peace efforts and can trigger new waves of escalation and tension in the region, when there is a unique window of opportunity to reach lasting peace, stability and security based upon fundamental norms and principles of international law.

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