GRANADA: The European Union will host talks between the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan this month to attempt to cut back tensions between the arch-foes following Baku’s lightning offensive in Nagorno-Karabakh, EU chief Charles Michel advised AFP on Thursday (Oct 5).
“The purpose is to have this assembly by the top of October and we’ll repair the date collectively, with (Armenian) Prime Minister (Nikol) Pashinyan and (Azerbaijani) President (Ilham) Aliyev,” Michel mentioned on the sidelines of a summit of the 47-nation European Political Group in Spain.
Two weeks in the past, Azerbaijan took management of the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh area for the primary time in three many years after a one-day offensive.
The operation sparked a mass exodus of ethnic Armenians, with the overwhelming majority of the estimated 120,000 who had been residing within the territory fleeing to Armenia.
European leaders, who’ve taken a rising position within the Caucasus, had hoped to host in Spain Aliyev’s first assembly with Pashinyan because the Karabakh offensive.
However the Azerbaijan chief turned down the talks, Baku citing France’s “militarisation coverage” within the Caucasus, the European Union’s perspective in the direction of the area, and the absence of Turkey – a standard ally of Baku.
On Thursday nonetheless, presidential aide Hikmet Hajiyev mentioned on social media that “Azerbaijan stands prepared for tripartite conferences in Brussels quickly within the format of the European Union, Azerbaijan and Armenia”.
Russia, the standard energy within the area, has been slowed down in its assault in Ukraine and Europe has more and more taken a bigger position in mediating the decades-old dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
France has pledged navy assist to Yerevan within the wake of Azerbaijan’s offensive, however has not elaborated on what this entails.
On Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron mentioned that European leaders ought to proceed to debate the disaster with Azerbaijan to be able to “finest defend” Armenia, reasonably than resorting to sanctions in opposition to Baku.
Amid the mass exodus of ethnic Armenians from Karabakh, Yerevan accused Baku of ethnic cleaning, a cost Azerbaijan has denied.
Requested if the exodus amounted to ethnic cleaning, French Overseas Minister Catherine Colonna mentioned in an interview late on Thursday that “it seems prefer it in any case – a compelled exodus, individuals who have to depart their ancestral lands, their houses, after navy operations or below menace of recent navy operations.
“These should not voluntary departures, although in fact we should sustain hope that they will return someday,” she advised France Tv.
On the bottom, Armenia and Azerbaijan accused one another of opening cross-border fireplace Thursday.
Within the wake of the offensive, Pashinyan has more and more questioned Russia’s historic position as his small nation’s fundamental safety guarantor.
He has been important of the refusal of Russian peacekeepers to intervene throughout the operation, describing the safety alliance with Russia as “ineffective”.
Russian President Vladimir Putin mentioned Thursday that Azerbaijan’s takeover of the area was “inevitable”, including: “It was solely a matter of time earlier than Azerbaijan began to revive constitutional order there.”
Russian peacekeepers on Thursday completed dismantling frontline statement posts within the area, Russia’s defence ministry mentioned in an announcement.
PASHINYAN MEETS ZELENSKYY
Pashinyan – who has confronted criticism at residence over the disaster – travelled to Granada to satisfy with European leaders.
For the primary time, he met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, whose nation is at conflict with Russia.
The assembly got here two days after the Armenian parliament moved to hitch the Worldwide Felony Court docket, which has issued an arrest warrant in opposition to Putin.
Armenia and Azerbaijan have fought two wars over Nagorno-Karabakh because the late Nineteen Eighties.
The mountainous area, populated primarily by Armenians who regard it as a part of their ancestral land, had been a part of Azerbaijan because the Nineteen Twenties, when the leaders of the Soviet Union drew the borders of the brand new nation.
When USSR collapsed in 1991, Karabakh unilaterally proclaimed its independence, with the assist of Armenia.
Karabakh separatists resisted Baku with the assist of Yerevan for 3 many years, notably throughout the first Karabakh conflict from 1988 to 1994 and the second in 2020.