July 30, 2021 - 18:44 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Members of the European Parliament have condemned statements by Azerbaijani representatives regarding so-called "West Zangezur" and referring to the territory of Armenia as Azerbaijani "ancestral land".
The Chair of the Delegation for relations with the South Caucasus, MEP Marina Kaljurand, the European Parliament's Standing Rapporteur on Armenia, MEP Andrey Kovatchev, and the European Parliament's Standing Rapporteur on Azerbaijan, MEP Željana Zovko pn Friday, July 30 issued a statement on the deadly clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan
In the wee hours of July 28, the Azerbaijani armed forces attacked the Armenian positions in Gegharkunik province, triggering local battles. Three Armenian troops were killed, five others were wounded in the process, the Defense Ministry said, adding that the Azerbaijani forces have been thwarted back to their positions. The Azerbaijanis fired on Armenian positions on July 29 too, injuring one more soldier.
“We deplore the death of three Armenian servicemen on 28 July in clashes with Azerbaijani forces at Armenia’s Gegharkunik province border after Armenian positions and several villages were reportedly fired at since early morning, and express our deep condolences to their families. Unfortunately, this is just the latest in a series of incidents or provocations over the last months, including violations of the inter-state border that began with the incursion of Azerbaijani troops into Armenian territory on 12 May. The recent exchange of fire at the Nakhchivan border, where another Armenian soldier died, was no less concerning," the statement reads.
"We call on both sides to strictly observe the ceasefire and refrain from any provocations. Any possible disagreements about the border must be addressed through negotiations in a border delimitation and demarcation process, not through the use of force and unilateral actions. All forces need to pull back to positions held before 12 May and in line with the provisions of the Tripartite Ceasefire Statement. To de-escalate the situation, it is of utmost importance that inflammatory rhetoric ceases immediately. In this context, we condemn in particular recent statements by Azerbaijani representatives regarding so-called ‘West Zangezur’ and referring to the territory of the Republic of Armenia as Azerbaijani ‘ancestral land’. Such statements are highly irresponsible and threaten to undermine regional security further."
The MEPs also recalled the EU’s commitment to support confidence-building measures and the addressing of any issues at the negotiating table, including through the resumption of negotiations on a lasting conflict settlement and the future status of the Nagorno-Karabakh region.