European Council president: Settlement of Karabakh conflict remains priority issue for EU
The settlement of the Karabakh conflict remains a priority issue for the EU, European Council president Herman Van Rompuy said at a joint press conference with Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan on July 4, News.am reported.
He stressed that mutual trust of the parties is necessary for a solution, noting the inadmissibility of the incidents at the contact line and expressing condolences to the families of those who died.
"The conflict must be resolved only through peaceful negotiations. This will allow it to change the status quo and only that way can peace and stability prevail in the region. The EU for its part reaffirms the statement of the co-chair state heads of the OSCE Minsk Group made recently in Los Cabos," Van Rompuy said.
He said the parties to the conflict must respect an agreement on compliance with the cease-fire and to refrain from militaristic rhetoric. "The EU for its part is ready to assist with this action," Van Rompuy said.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 per cent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France and the U.S. - are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.