EU to approve Azerbaijan-Armenia border mission

EU to approve Azerbaijan-Armenia border mission
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Foreign ministers of the bloc are expected to give a green light to deploy 400 EU observers along the border

The foreign ministers of the EU member states are expected to approve on Monday the civilian observer mission which will be sent to Armenia, ten days after Azerbaijan and Armenia have agreed to a civilian EU mission alongside their border.

The issue will be discussed during today’s session in Luxembourg.

“On October 6, during the meeting of the French President, the President of the European Council, the Prime Minister of Armenia and the Azerbaijani President, an agreement was reached to form a mission. The ministers, as expected, will approve that mission on Tuesday”, EU’s representative said in a statement.

 The representative did not give not many details available about the mission, but added that around 400 monitors will be deployed from the EU observer mission in Georgia at the initial stage, which is expected to start by the end of this month, to help delineate the border between the two countries for a maximum of two months.  

The two neighboring foes have been locked in a decades-long territorial dispute over the Nagorno-Karabakh region which is geographically in Azerbaijan but inhabited mostly by Armenians.

Last month, at least 286 people were killed on both sides before a US -brokered truce ended the worst clashes since 2020, when simmering tensions escalated into all-out war, claiming 6,500 lives in six weeks.

Push for a permanent peace agreement

The latest violence revealed the fragility of the ceasefire between the sides and the risk of escalating military tensions if a permanent agreement is not reached.

Armenia's close allies, the US and France weighed in to reunite the parties and push for an agreement. Particularly, the peace talks initiated between the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia on October 2 were supported by the US and France.

However, Western countries believe that Azerbaijan "does not show any flexibility with the superiority of winning the war" and pressures Baku to soften its stance.

The most important problems between the parties are the delineation of the borders, the status of the Armenian people who will remain in Nagorno-Karabakh and the creation of the corridor that will connect the main lands of Azerbaijan and Nakhchivan.

Important issues such as who will control this highway and how far Armenia can use its sovereign rights regarding the road passing through its territory are on the table. Armenia does not oppose the highway, but wants a formula that will protect its sovereign rights.