EU to send 40 experts to monitor Armenia, Azerbaijan border issue

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EU foreign ministers on Monday agreed to send a short-term border mission to Armenia to observe the situation with arch-foe Azerbaijan.

The team will consist of “up to 40 EU monitoring experts along the Armenian side of the international border with Azerbaijan,” the European Council said in a statement.

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The mission will have “the objective of monitoring, analyzing and reporting on the situation in the region” and would “in principle” last no more than two months, it said.

The decision comes after deadly clashes in September along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border that have raised the fears of a fresh all-out conflict.

The two countries have already fought two wars, in 2020 and in the 1990s, over Azerbaijan’s Armenian-populated region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

The EU decision to send the mission follows an October 6 meeting between French President Emmanuel Macron and European Council President Charles Michel with

Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.

Facing an energy crunch and weaning itself off Russia fossil fuels because of the war in Ukraine, the EU has turned to alternative gas suppliers including Azerbaijan.

Yet Macron ruffled Baku’s feathers last week when he said “we will not abandon Armenians” while “Azerbaijan has launched several offensives along the border.”

Russia, which has criticized Macron for his remarks, maintains around 2,000 soldiers in Armenia.

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