25 July 2024 / 03:21 RU

    “It is now important to turn the page of enmity once and for all” - Toivo KlaarInterview

    (Exclusive interview of the EU Special Representative by Turan news agency)

    - Question:  EU sends to the Armenian borders 40 monitoring experts.  Is it the final number of experts or it may increase?  If yes, when?

    - Indeed, the Council of the European Union on 17 October 2022 approved a decision to deploy up to 40 EU monitoring experts along the Armenian side of the international border with Azerbaijan with the objective of monitoring, analysing and reporting on the situation in the region.

    This decision to deploy an EU Monitoring Capacity followed the quadrilateral meeting between President Aliyev, Prime Minister Pashinyan, President Macron and President Michel on 6 October and a decision taken by the EU’s Political and Security Committee on 11 October.

    Thus, the number of 40 monitoring experts is the only official figure agreed by the EU Members States. We anticipate that these experts – who are currently undergoing corresponding preparations – will be deployed as of next week, starting from 24 October.

    Question: Can you explain the procedure and character of the monitoring? What tools they will use and whom they will reports results?

    - The monitoring due to be carried out in the coming weeks on the Armenian side of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border is temporary in nature. It has been clearly said by EU officials. A period of 2 months has also been mentioned. This monitoring will take place primarily via road patrols and means of observation on the ground. The EU Monitoring Capacity will report directly to HQ in Brussels, not to the sides.

    Question: Do you think that results may be useful if they to be only at Armenian side?

    - The EU Monitoring Capacity is being deployed on the Armenian side in line with a corresponding request sent by the Armenian authorities to HR/VP J. Borrell on 22  September 2022. In Prague, the leaders also discussed a possible deployment and activities on the Azerbaijani side. 

    President Aliyev made it clear that Baku agreed to cooperate with this mission as far as it is concerned. We expect the Azerbaijani side to engage with the mission through regular contacts between relevant actors on the ground, even without a physical presence on the Azerbaijani side of the Armenian-Azerbaijani state border. This mission will hopefully also serve the objective of building confidence between the sides.

    Question:     Don’t you think that monitoring of the borders should began after their demarcation?

    - There is a border, which is the one that was referred to by the Alma Ata Declaration of 1991, where the signatories, including Armenia and Azerbaijan, decided to recognise each other’s independence and territorial integrity. We are talking about the border such as it existed between the Armenian SSR and Azerbaijan SSR. There is also a process of delimitation and demarcation, which Armenia and Azerbaijan have embarked on and which may possibly lead to certain changes to the border line. However, until this process is complete it is important to respect the border as it exists de facto.

    As I said, this monitoring capacity was decided in response to a request by the Armenian authorities.  It followed the deadliest escalation of violence between the sides since the 9 November 2020 trilateral statement. This was the latest of a series of clashes, which saw so many unnecessary victims, on both sides. We hope that the mission will contribute to stabilisation on the ground and also to an environment conducive to negotiations between the sides on the final delimitation of their border.

    Question:  Can you tell if the process will have a long-term character and goes more than two months?

    - I have already answered this question. As stated above, the mission will involve the temporary deployment of EU monitors on the ground for a period of two months. Nothing beyond that timeframe is being considered at this stage.

    Question:  Do you believe that four-side meeting in Prague by leaders of Azerbaijan, Armenia, France and EU was a step towards a peace agreement?

    - The quadrilateral meeting held in Prague was another high-level engagement with the sides on the part of the EU, with the additional participation of French President E. Macron. I do believe that this meeting, as all previous meetings facilitated by PEC Michel before, brought the sides closer to a peace deal and allowed them to exchange thoughts on many issues.

    The fact that Armenia and Azerbaijan confirmed their commitment to the Charter of the United Nations and the Alma Ata 1991 Declaration, through which both recognize each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, was an important step in this direction. The leaders also confirmed that these documents would be a basis for the work of the border delimitation commissions.

    The Prague meeting allowed for progress and important talks between the sides. It is our hope that the situation remains calm on the ground and we do not see a new wave of violence that has already claimed too many lives. It is now important to turn the page of enmity once and for all, to avoid a repetition of past mistakes and ensure prominence of positive rhetoric between the sides for a peaceful future. I can assure you that the EU will continue its serious engagement with both sides in this direction.


    Source - Turan.az


    21 October 2022 / 13:47