EU to send a civilian mission to Armenian-Azerbaijani border
On the sidelines of the first meeting of the European Political Community Summit held in the Czech capital Prague, Armenian, Azerbaijani, French leaders and the top official of the European Council agreed to send a civilian EU delegation to delineate the borders of Armenia and Azerbaijan.
The Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, French President Emmanuel Macron, and European Council President Charles Michel met for several hours.
The statement released after the meeting said: “There was an agreement by Armenia to facilitate a civilian EU mission alongside the border with Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan agreed to cooperate with this mission as far as it is concerned."
The mission will start in October and continue for a maximum period of two months.
Macron said: “The aim of this mission is to build confidence and, through its reports, to contribute to the border commissions.”
Pashinyan said on Twitter:
“In Prague, I reconfirmed again our proposal on unblocking of all regional communications. Azerbaijan again did not respond positively. I reiterate Armenia is ready for unblocking of all regional communications with full respect of our sovereignty and legislation.”
Ilham Aliyev, on Thursday, tweeted: “We will restore Karabakh and Zangezur. It is our national idea.”
But the next day, he said that he hopes they are gradually getting closer to peace and that he appreciates Charles Michel's efforts to that end.
While Zangezur -referred to as the "Zangezur corridor" by Azerbaijan and Turkey- is Armenian territory, it is attributed strategic importance as it links Azerbaijani soil to the Nakhchivan Autonomus Republic, bordered on the west by Turkey.
Aliyev earlier said in April 2021, "Azerbaijan will return to Zangezur, whether Armenia wants it or not."
Pashinyan also held a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Prague. This was the first time an Armenian and Turkish leader met since Erdogan met Serzh Sargsyan in 2010 in Washington.
Following the meeting, Erdogan voiced hope for “full normalization” with Armenia. He added that while cargo and air transportation continues between Turkey and Armenia, the Turkish border will be opened as soon as Armenia and Azerbaijan sign a peace treaty.