Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan today received EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the Crisis in Georgia Toyvo Klaar. Head of EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Andrea Wiktorin was in attendance.
The Premier described the ongoing EU-Armenia partnership as quite effective, which has resulted in numerous important projects. Nikol Pashinyan appreciated the European Union’s involvement in the infrastructure projects implemented in Armenia. In this connection, he advised that the Government has decided to launch the construction of the Sisian-Kajaran section of the North-South Road Corridor.
Touching upon the situation established following Azerbaijan’s aggression against Artsakh, the Prime Minister noted that the repatriation of POWs, as stipulated in Clause 8 of the statement of November 10, 2020, is a key priority for the Armenian side. However, Azerbaijan is trying to misinterpret the clause and delay the repatriation of POWs, hostages or other detainees. Calling Toyvo Klaar’s attention to this important humanitarian issue, Nikol Pashinyan stressed the need for international partners’ involvement, including EU institutions.
The Prime Minister next referred to the policy of Armenophobia officially encouraged by Azerbaijan’s top leadership as evidenced by the opening of the so-called Trophy Park in Baku, which is meant to glorify the war crimes committed by Azerbaijan, involving children in that process. Nikol Pashinyan strongly condemned Azerbaijan‘s behavior, considering it a serious challenge to regional peace and emphasizing that such a stance in the 21st century is inconceivable for a member state of the Council of Europe, which is at odds with the principles adopted by the civilized world.
The Premier considered it necessary for the international community to respond adequately to Azerbaijan’s anti-human policies. He stressed that this is the most serious basis for applying the principle of “remedial secession” to Nagorno-Karabakh.
Noting that the European Union is eager to see regional peace reinstated in the South Caucasus, the EU Special Representative expressed deep concern over the challenges that can make it impossible to set up an appropriate confidence building atmosphere. Taking the opportunity, Toyvo Klaar shared with the Prime Minister the impressions of his visit to Armenia’s border regions and the meetings held with the locals. The importance of protecting the rights of population in border areas was emphasized on both sides.
Prime Minister Pashinyan drew the EU Special Representative’s attention to Azerbaijani manipulations concerning foreigners’ stay in Artsakh, which seeks to impede the implementation of humanitarian activities by international organizations in Nagorno-Karabakh. In this context, Nikol Pashinyan stressed the need for bringing Azerbaijan into a constructive field. In response, Ambassador Wiktorin assured that the EU will continue to implement humanitarian assistance programs in Artsakh.
The interlocutors discussed the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Prime Minister Pashinyan noted that the status of Nagorno-Karabakh remains unsettled, adding that Armenia abides by the position that the talks should continue in the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing format.
Nikol Pashinyan and Toyvo Klaar referred to other issues of regional significance, exchanged views on the opening of transport and economic infrastructure in the region.