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Armen Mirzoyan

European Council Says Rights and Security of Karabakh Armenians Must be Guaranteed

The European Council (EC) has again called on Azerbaijan to reopen the Lachin Corridor given the “rapidly humanitarian crisis on the ground.”

A statement today released by EC President Charles Michel’s spokesperson notes that Michel and Toivo Klaar, EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus, have prioritized a resolution of the humanitarian situation of Karabakh Armenians.

Michel, according to the statement, “has proposed a step-by-step approach which would reflect a sequencing in the full-fledged operation of the Lachin Corridor and the opening of the Ağdam route.”

Artsakh Armenians and the local government have rejected any humanitarian aid shipment via Aghdam, describing such efforts by Baku as a “ploy” to deviate international attention from the Lachin Corridor issue.

The statement says the EU has also stressed the need for Baku to provide clarity to Karabakh Armenians in terms of procedures for their movements through Lachin corridor to and from Armenia.

It goes on to say dialog between Baku and the former Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast" is essential to resolve the conflict and "the rights and security of Karabakh Armenians must be guaranteed and discussions on specific modalities should start as soon as possible."

Given that the EC regards Karabakh as a part of Azerbaijan, the EC is most likely talking about cultural/minority rights.

“Dialogue between Baku and representatives of Armenians living in twill be essential in this regard.  the statement reads.  

Describing today’s fighting along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border as an “escalation”, the statement says these efforts are aimed at ensuring the irreversible normalization of relations between Baku and Yerevan for the benefit of all populations on the ground.

“It is now time for courageous compromise solutions, also in light of today's escalation,” the statement reads.

Klaar and Michel’s team, according to the statement have been in frequent contact with Baku, Yerevan and representatives of Karabakh Armenians to work out a solution for unblocking access.

“In parallel, exchanges have also focused on restoring electricity and gas supplies to Karabakh Armenians as soon as possible,” the statement reads.

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