Statement by the spokesperson of the President of the European Council, regarding Armenia and Azerbaijan
In line with elements and proposals outlined publicly in our statement on September 1st, 2023, President Michel continued to be closely engaged in advancing those and other approaches, with a primary focus on de-escalation of tensions and the humanitarian situation facing the Karabakh Armenians.
In particular, President Michel has been engaged in intense contacts over the past few days, both with Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev during telephone conversations on September 9, 2023, but also with President of Türkiye Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on the margins of the G20 New Delhi summit on September 10, 2023.
These efforts, supported by daily interaction of his office and EUSR Toivo Klaar with Baku, Yerevan and representatives of Karabakh Armenians, have been aimed at de-escalation of tensions and working out a solution for unblocking humanitarian access to Karabakh Armenians.
In this context, we note the passage today of a Russian humanitarian delivery via the Ağdam-Askeran route. We understand all the sensitivities associated with this development; it is our expectation that it will create a momentum for the resumption of regular humanitarian deliveries to the local population.
The situation on the ground is deteriorating quickly. It is vital to ensure essential products are supplied to Karabakh Armenians. The opening of the Agdam-Askeran route today is an important step that should facilitate the reopening also of the Lachin corridor. We call on all stakeholders to show responsibility and flexibility in ensuring that both the Lachin and the Agdam-Askeran route will be used.
This difficult situation on the ground has lasted for too long; it is now important to find sustainable and mutually acceptable solutions to ensure humanitarian access, also ahead of the autumn and winter seasons.
We reiterate our strong belief that the Lachin corridor must be unblocked, in line with past agreements and the ICJ Order, and underline our belief in the usefulness also of other supply routes, for the benefit of the local population.
The EU expects that today’s developments will be followed by more concrete steps in the coming days and weeks, also regarding the dialogue between Baku and Karabakh Armenians on their rights and security, reconciliation efforts and the overall Armenia-Azerbaijan peace process.
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