Azerbaijan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued today a statement on the decision of the European Council to establish the EU Monitoring Mission in Armenia.
"We remain of the firm position that such an engagement must not be exploited for derailing the normalization process between Azerbaijan and Armenia, including in the context of border delimitation process that should be carried out exclusively on a bilateral basis," said the statement. The ministry noted that it must be ensured that deployment of an EU mission in Armenia duly takes into account the legitimate interests of Azerbaijan, and such an undertaking by the EU takes place in a manner that does not undermine mutual trust and confidence.
According to the ministry, the Azerbaijani side expects that in the process of deliberations on EU mission, utmost care will be exercised to draw necessary lessons from the past experience. "The EU’s engagement in the territory of Armenia started with the deployment of a civilian monitoring capacity following the agreement reached at Prague meeting on October 6 2022 among the leaders of Azerbaijan, Armenia, France, and the President of the EU Council. Azerbaijan agreed to such an undertaking with the understanding that it will help the normalization process," said the statement.
"Despite clearly defined parameters and purposes of two months-long period mission agreed at the highest level, the actual deployment of the monitoring capacity was accompanied by serious deviations from the agreements reached in Prague, following biased approaches taken by some EU member-states. This, in turn, affected the overall trust as regards to the credibility and transparency of the decision-making within the EU," the ministry added.
Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry noted that the presence of EU monitoring capacity in Armenia coincided with increased attempts by Armenia to derail the normalization process in all its three tracks, including torpedoing the trilateral meeting of the leaders of Azerbaijan, Armenia and the EU Council, with groundless conditioning. "As such, initial expectations that EU mission would contribute to taking normalization agenda forward were undermined," said the ministry.
According to the ministry, following the end of the civilian EU mission in Armenia and given the interest of the EU to continue its presence, Azerbaijan has engaged in good faith in consultations with the EU and conveyed its assessment, expectations and concerns clearly and in a transparent manner.
It was also noted that, in a series of consultations held at various levels with EU representatives, it has been communicated by Azerbaijan that engagement of EU in Armenia through a mission must not serve as a pretext for Armenia to evade from fulfilment of undertaken commitments. "Exploitation of such a presence of the EU against the already existing dialogue mechanisms is detrimental, and must be avoided," the ministry concluded.