Eastern Partnership Declaration in Deadlock over Karabagh Wording

BRUSSELS—Yerevan and Baku are unable to come to terms on the wording of the final declaration of the Eastern Partnership summit, which is due to be held in Brussels next week.

(L to R) Ilham Aliyev and Serge Sarkisian during a 2017 meeting (Photo: Press service President of the Republic of Armenia)

According to RFE/RL correspondent Rikard Jozwiak on Nov. 15, the ambassadors of all 28 European Union member states agreed on a declaration except for one paragraph on regional conflicts. According to Jozwiak, the ambassadors left this paragraph open as Armenia and Azerbaijan each want to include different language on Nagorno-Karabagh (Artsakh) issue.

The report notes that officials in Brussels are worried about the deadlock, as differences over Karabagh-related wording almost spoiled the adoption of a similar declaration at the Eastern Partnership summit in 2015.

After not being able to secure his preferred wording two years ago, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev refused to attend the summit, while Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov delayed signing the declaration.

“The reason why the EU is very afraid now is that in 2015 at the Riga summit there were fights about this throughout the whole summit. Aliyev even threatened not to sign the declaration and it was delayed by lots of time. So this is something that can lead to a drama on the actual day. It might happen again that [Armenian President Serge] Sarkisian and Aliyev will refuse to sign this document because of Nagorno-Karabagh wording or non-wording,” RFE/RL’s correspondent reported from Brussels.

Responding to RFE/RL’s inquiry, Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tigran Balayan said that the negotiations on this issue are still ongoing, and that he could not provide further details.

According to several reports, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on Wednesday reaffirming an earlier measure that protects the rights of the people of Artsakh to self-determination. The resolution is said to have passed with an overwhelming majority.

Earlier this year, the European Parliament approved a similar resolution in which Artsakh’s right to self-determination is protected.

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Source: Armenian Weekly
Link: Eastern Partnership Declaration in Deadlock over Karabagh Wording