By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Head of the Department for Foreign Policy Affairs of Azerbaijan’s Presidential Administration Hikmet Hajiyev has said Azerbaijan welcomes the fact that the EU consistently supports Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, inviolability of borders and sovereignty.
“Azerbaijan highly appreciates and welcomes this position. I would especially like to emphasize that position of the EU and other international institutions to the existing conflicts should unequivocally reflect the principles of the Helsinki Final Act,” Hajiyev told reporters on January 17.
“If we look at the final documents of the Brussels Summit on the Eastern Partnership and the document on the priorities of the partnership between the EU and Azerbaijan, we will see that unequivocal and decisive support for Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity is shown,” Hajiyev stressed.
During the plenary meeting held on January 15, European Parliament adopted a resolution "Annual report on the implementation of the Common Foreign and Security Policy" by an overwhelming majority of votes (454 out of 704).
The 36th item of the resolution says EU reaffirms its commitment to support the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of the countries of Eastern Partnership (EaP), which Azerbaijan is a member of.
The issue of territorial integrity is presented in the resolution along with the expression "internationally recognized borders".
The document calls on to demonstrate a unified approach to all conflicts in the territory of the EaP countries, as well as to support the efforts to resolve them in accordance with the norms and principles of international law and provide support to those suffering from these conflicts, including refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs).
The document also refers to "A Global Strategy for the EU's Foreign and Security Policy" dated in 2016 and the Joint Declaration of the Eastern Partnership Summit in Brussels in 2017.
In the strategy for the EU's foreign and security policy, the sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of the state borders of the countries were recognized as the most important elements of European security.
The Joint Declaration of the Eastern Partnership Summit in Brussels also explicitly expresses support for the territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty of the Eastern Partnership countries.
The resolutions adopted by the European Parliament annually are binding documents that may influence the activity of the European Commission during the year.
In contrast to the standard resolutions of the European Parliament, this document is doctrinal, that is, it obliges European officials to comply with its provisions in the EU foreign policy, as well as sets priorities and main areas of EU activity in contacts with other states.
The adoption of this resolution for the South Caucasus means, first of all, the impossibility for Armenia as an occupier of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions of Azerbaijan to promote anti-Azerbaijani and pro-occupation documents and discussions on EU platforms.
Azerbaijan, in turn, is getting a tool to solve, in cooperation with the EU, the IDP problems affected by the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the longest unresolved conflict in the post-Soviet space.
The two countries fought a lengthy war that ended with signing of a fragile ceasefire in 1994. Nagorno-Karabakh is Azerbaijan’s breakaway region that along with seven surrounding district was occupied by Armenian forces during the war in the early 1990s. One million Azerbaijanis were displaced as a result of the occupation.
Armenia has so far failed to comply by the four UN Security Council resolutions on immediate withdrawal from the occupied territory of Azerbaijan, thus keeping tension high in the region.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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