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S&Ds call on Armenia and Azerbaijan to respect ceasefire and resume negotiations on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict


13 Apr 2016


Europe's East

The S&D Group is deeply concerned about the deadly clashes that took place between Armenia and Azerbaijan from the 2nd to 5th April over the unresolved conflict of Nagorno-Karabakh.  The S&Ds deplore the loss of life; in particular the reports of civilian casualties and deaths.

Following last night's discussion in the European Parliament on the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, S&D MEP and vice-president for foreign affairs Victor Boştinaru said: 

"We take note of the announced commitment from both sides on a cessation of hostilities agreed on 5th April and hope that the sides will respect the ceasefire, refrain from the use of force and resume efforts towards a peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. A new war in the South Caucasus would lead to massive human suffering, disruption of energy transportation routes and potentially a wider geopolitical conflagration.
"In order to prevent the resumption of hostilities, it is urgent that the security monitoring mechanisms on the Line of Contact between the sides is reinforced. We believe that the presence of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) monitors should be enhanced as a matter of urgency. We also call on both sides to immediately stop the use of inflammatory rhetoric."

Richard Howitt MEP, the S&D Group's foreign affairs coordinator, said:
"We believe that efforts to de-escalate the conflict should be part of a broader and reinvigorated diplomatic engagement with Armenia and Azerbaijan with the aim of conflict resolution on the basis of the OSCE Madrid principles, emphasising non-use of violence, territorial integrity and self-determination. The EU has a clear interest in preventing a new devastating war between Armenia and Azerbaijan. That is why we encourage the Council, the Commission and the European External Action Service (EEAS) to seek an associate membership for the EU in the OSCE Minsk Group.
"We also call for an immediate halt on arms sales to any of the sides of the conflict by those states that still do so, notably Russia and Turkey. Such sales only fuel further instability and increase the costs in terms of loss of human life and destruction of infrastructures in any potential future war."