EU launches mission in Armenia for stability in border areas

EU launches mission in Armenia for stability in border areas
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The EU Civilian mission in Armenia will contribute to stability in the region and confidence building in the conflict-affected areas along the border between Azerbaijan and Armenia

The European Union on Monday launched the EU Civilian Mission in Armenia (EUMA) under the Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) aimed at contributing to stability in Armenia's border areas, building confidence and human security in conflict-affected areas, and ensuring an environment conducive to EU-backed normalization efforts between Armenia and Azerbaijan through its deployment on the Armenian side of the Armenia-Azerbaijan border.

The EUMA was formally established by a Council Decision on 23 January 2023.

The total – exclusively civilian - staff of the EUMA will be approximately 100, including around 50 unarmed observers.

The Operational Headquarters of the mission will be in Yeghegnadzor, in Armenia’s Vayots Dzor province. EEAS Managing Director of the Civilian Planning and Conduct Capability (CPCC) Stefano Tomat will serve as the Civilian Operation Commander, while Markus Ritter will serve as the Head of Mission.

On Friday, after talks with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the EUMA will have an initial mandate of two years

However, Azerbaijani Parliament Speaker Sahiba Gafarova said on Friday that the scheduled deployment of the EU mission on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border may impede the process of normalizing relations between Baku and Yerevan.