Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept.9
By Seba Aghayeva - Trend:
The European Union is ready to support Azerbaijan and Armenia if the countries show their political will to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy Stefan Fule said on Sept.9.
He made the remarks at the briefing following the 4th informal meeting of foreign ministers of EU Eastern Partnership countries in Baku.
"The settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict should be based on the international law," Fule stressed.
It would be wrong to draw parallels between the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the ongoing crisis in Crimea, according to the European commissioner.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The two countries 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.
Fule underscored that Azerbaijan is the important partner of the European Union and expressed confidence that the country will play a greater role in ensuring Europe's energy security in the future.
The European commissioner said he also had a meeting with the civil society representatives during the current visit and expressed hope that the platform for the activities of the civil society will be more expanded in Azerbaijan in the future.
"Azerbaijan chairs the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe and I suppose that the country will make contributions to this organization during this chairmanship," Fule stressed.
Azerbaijan's Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov, for his part pointed out during the briefing that Azerbaijan is creating a democratic and open society and cooperates with the European institutions in this field.
The minister said Azerbaijan is interested in achieving more transparent activity of the non-governmental organizations, adding that first of all, these organizations should respect the rule of law principle.
Mammadyarov went on to add that Azerbaijan will make a report on its chairmanship in the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on Oct.2.