EU welcomes humanitarian truce between Armenia and Azerbaijan

FILE PHOTO: European Union flags fly outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium

The European Union (EU) welcomed the humanitarian truce between Armenia and Azerbaijan starting midnight (2000 GMT) Saturday, and denounced any violation of the newly reached ceasefire, it said on Sunday.

According to a statement issued by the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy Josep Borrell, the joint announcement of a humanitarian ceasefire was made by Armenia and Azerbaijan following the mediation efforts by French President Emmanuel Macron, in coordination with the other OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs.

Meanwhile, the bloc “deplores that, unfortunately, violations continue, with reported fighting in and around Nagorno Karabakh,” said the statement.

“This leads to more civilian suffering. It aggravates the conflict between States and respective societies, rendering the healing of wounds even more difficult,” said Borrell, adding that “the EU strongly condemns all such attacks irrespective of their origin.”

The EU official said he had just called the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan “to impress upon them that the ceasefire should be unconditional and strictly respected.”

Azerbaijan and Armenia traded accusations of violating the new ceasefire on Sunday, hours after they agreed for the second time to halt fighting over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. The first truce came on Oct. 10, but was followed by crossfires.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have been at loggerheads over the Nagorno-Karabakh region since 1988. Peace talks have been held since 1994 when a ceasefire was reached, although there have been minor sporadic clashes since.

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