EU ready to promote Karabakh settlement

EU ready to promote Karabakh settlement

PanARMENIAN.Net - The European Union is likely to promote its participation in the Karabah issue and is ready to provide financial assistance to promote settlement and reconstruct the region, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy Stefan Fule said in an interview with Radio Liberty.

“We invest more and more to encourage confidence-building measures both in Transdnistria and Karabakh. But it’s the beginning, since Brussels can afford more as commitment and willingness to resolve the conflict have grown,” the commissioner noted.

Stefan Fule said Brussels is committed to resolving the conflict, at the same time noting that the Minsk Group-mediated talks will continue. He noted that replacement of one of the co-chairs is not considered. He thinks the sides and the Minsk Group must enable larger involvement of the EU. He asserted the EU’s commitment to and ability for capacity building.

The European official said besides confidence-building measures, the EU may now and in future provide a significant package of assistance when the sides reach a lasting agreement. The assistance package will include measures which will promote social and economic development. If necessary, the EU may reconstruct infrastructures to connect some regions to other countries, as well as enhance the role of the civil society and other forces which may be useful to reconciliation, the commissioner told Radio Liberty.

The conflict between Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan

The conflict between Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan broke out as result of the ethnic cleansing launched by the Azeri authorities in the final years of the Soviet Union. The Karabakh War was fought from 1991 (when the Nagorno Karabakh Republic was proclaimed) to 1994 (when a ceasefire was sealed by Armenia, NKR and Azerbaijan). Most of Nagorno Karabakh and a security zone consisting of 7 regions are now under control of NKR defense army. Armenia and Azerbaijan are holding peace talks mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group up till now.

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