EU mission deployment on Armenia-Azerbaijan border causes unease: Baku
Azerbaijan voices its disapproval of the EU's decision to deploy the European Union Mission in Armenia (EUMA)
Azerbaijani Parliament Speaker Sahiba Gafarova commented on the scheduled deployment of an EU mission on the Azerbaijan-Armenia border, saying that this decision may impede normalization between the two countries.
In order to promote additional stability in the Nagorno-Karabakh border areas, EU foreign ministers approved on January 23 the creation of a civilian European Union Mission in Armenia (EUMA). The mission, according to the EU, is meant to normalize relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and foster stability in the border areas.
"Sending an observer mission from Europe to the Armenian-Azerbaijani border may hinder the process of normalization of relations [between Baku and Yerevan]," Baku's Speaker said, adding "I have voiced my position regarding the deployment of the EU observation mission in Armenia on the border with Azerbaijan at meetings in Russia."
Russia's Foreign Ministry had earlier in January voiced its disapproval regarding the EU decision, saying that it could lead to geopolitical confrontation and exacerbate tensions between the countries involved, noting the presence of Russia's peacekeeping contingent on the borders.
Six weeks of violence in the autumn of 2020 between Baku and Yerevan claimed over 6,500 lives and ended with a ceasefire accord sponsored by Russia. Russia sent 2,000 peacekeepers to monitor the truce, but tensions remain despite a ceasefire deal.
Armenia delivered a peace proposal to Azerbaijan on Wednesday that aims to end the decades-long dispute between the neighboring nations and normalize bilateral relations.
"Armenia completed the next stage of work on a peace treaty and the establishment of relations with Azerbaijan yesterday, and our proposals were submitted to the Azerbaijani side," said the Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Thursday, adding that the document was also handed over to co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group: Russian ambassador Igor Khovaev; Brice Roquefeuil of France, and Andrew Schofer of the US.
Pashinyan also confirmed that negotiations with Azerbaijan are witnessing progress.