By Nigar Orujova
The long-standing efforts to promote a peaceful solution to the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia remains in the forefront of the EU priorities, as does cooperation with Azerbaijani society as a whole, EU Spokesperson told AzerNews.
Armenia captured Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions of Azerbaijan in a war that followed the Soviet breakup in 1991. This war killer more than 20,000 Azerbaijanis and nearly 1 million were displaced.
"We are currently working with Azerbaijan on defining the scope of a new legal basis that would replace the 1996 Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and Azerbaijan," the spokesperson said.
Baku has earlier presented the new draft agreement to the EU. It envisages establishment of strategic partnership relations between the two sides.
In early 2015, head of the EU Delegation to Azerbaijan Malena Mard said the current status quo in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is unacceptable to the EU.
She noted that the EU attaches great importance to the territorial integrity principle.
“The EU supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan,” she said. “This has been indicated in the agreement signed by the sides in 1996. The OSCE Minsk Group is engaged in the conflict settlement. We support its activity.”
The sides to the conflict currently hold talks based on the renewed Madrid principles, which envisage return of occupied territories surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijani control, ensure the right of all internally displaced persons and refugees to return to their former places of residence, future determination of the final legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh, etc.
Nigar Orujova is AzerNews’s staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @o_nigar
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