EU calls for immediate end to armed clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan

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Aug. 4 (UPI) — The European Union is calling for an immediate end to deadly military clashes between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces around the Lachin corridor and elsewhere along the Line of Contact along their disputed border.

In a statement, the EU said, “It is essential to de-escalate, fully respect the ceasefire and return to the negotiating table to seek negotiated solutions.”

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European Council President Charles Michel is “closely engaged” with leaders of both countries, according to the EU. He has spoken with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and will speak soon with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.

Azerbaijan alleges that an Azerbaijani soldier was killed Wednesday in a clash as construction of a new road was underway in the Lachin corridor.

“Accusations shared by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia against Azerbaijan in violation of the trilateral statement are nothing but mere hypocrisy,” the Azerbaijan Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“The bloody incident and killing of an Azerbaijani soldier on Aug. 3 is precisely the result of Armenia’s failure to fulfill its obligations.”

Armenia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs tweeted Thursday that the “Azerbaijani side officially and openly assumed responsibility for aggression.”

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The Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs accused Azerbaijan of violating the Trilateral Statement of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan on the cessation of hostilities “in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone, resulting in casualties.”

“Despite the steps undertaken by the Armenian side for achieving stability and peace in the region, Azerbaijan continues its pre-planned policy of terrorizing the population of Nagorno-Karabakh, subjecting them to ethnic cleansing and creeping occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh,” the Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

The Azerbaijani Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in its statement, “We emphasize that the reason for the recent tension is the presence of illegal Armenian armed troops in the territories of Azerbaijan and provocations instigated by them.”

Azerbaijan and Armenia agreed in November to a Russia-brokered cease-fire along their disputed border.

The EU statement calling for Armenia and Azerbaijan to end the armed clashes said, “The European Union remains committed to help overcome tensions and continue its engagement toward sustainable peace and stability in the South Caucasus.”