Nagorno-Karabakh: EU ‘condemns military escalation’ as Azerbaijan attacks continue – live

EU stresses dialogue as Borrell meets Armenian minister

The EU’s high representative for foreign affairs, Josep Borrell, has had a meeting with Armenia’s foreign minister, Ararat Mirzoyan, and called on Azerbaijan to halt military activities.

“The European Union condemns the military escalation along the Line of Contact and in other locations in Karabakh,” Borrell said in a statement on Tuesday.

“There is an urgent need to return to dialogue between Baku and Karabakh Armenians. This military escalation should not be used as a pretext to force the exodus of the local population,” he said, adding that “the EU remains fully engaged to facilitate the dialogue”.

After the meeting with the EU’s top diplomat, Armenia’s Mirzoyan said international partners – including the EU – “should take urgent action”.

Key events

Washington calls for de-escalation

The US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, spoke to Azerbaijan’s president, Ilham Aliyev, late on Tuesday and urged him to end military actions in Nagorno-Karabakh.

“The secretary emphasised that there is no military solution and that the parties must resume dialogue to resolve outstanding differences between Baku and ethnic Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh,” a spokesperson for the US state department said in a statement.

Blinken also “noted President Aliyev’s expressed readiness to halt military actions and for representatives of Azerbaijan and the population of Nagorno-Karabakh to meet, and he underscored the need for immediate implementation”.

The top American diplomat also issued a statement underscoring that Washington was “deeply concerned by Azerbaijan’s military actions” and that Baku’s moves “are worsening an already dire humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh and undermine prospects for peace”.

Aliyev’s office, meanwhile, said in a press release that the Azerbaijani leader told Blinken “that anti-terror measures will be stopped if the weapon is laid down and disarmed”.

Blinken also had a call with Armenia’s prime minister, Nikol Pashinyan, and said that the US “fully supports Armenia’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity”.

I spoke to Azerbaijani President Aliyev today and urged him to immediately cease military actions in Nagorno-Karabakh. It is crucial for Azerbaijan to deescalate the situation to promote a peaceful resolution of the conflict.

— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) September 19, 2023

EU stresses dialogue as Borrell meets Armenian minister

The EU’s high representative for foreign affairs, Josep Borrell, has had a meeting with Armenia’s foreign minister, Ararat Mirzoyan, and called on Azerbaijan to halt military activities.

“The European Union condemns the military escalation along the Line of Contact and in other locations in Karabakh,” Borrell said in a statement on Tuesday.

“There is an urgent need to return to dialogue between Baku and Karabakh Armenians. This military escalation should not be used as a pretext to force the exodus of the local population,” he said, adding that “the EU remains fully engaged to facilitate the dialogue”.

After the meeting with the EU’s top diplomat, Armenia’s Mirzoyan said international partners – including the EU – “should take urgent action”.

Hostilities continue in Nagorno-Karabakh

Fighting is continuing in Nagorno-Karabakh this morning, with the death toll rising as western capitals condemn Azerbaijan’s decision to launch what it describes as an “anti-terrorist operation” in the area on Tuesday.

Nagorno-Karabakh is recognised internationally as Azerbaijan’s territory but has a mostly Armenian population. Tensions have been rising over the past months as the Azerbaijani government and activists blockaded the Lachin corridor, a route that connects Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have fought two wars over the territory, and there are growing concerns about further escalation.

Check out this useful explainer by the Guardian’s Pjotr Sauer.

Welcome to the Guardian’s Europe live blog

Good morning and welcome to the Europe live blog, where we will be bringing you the latest news and analysis on key issues facing Europe.

We will be covering everything from elections to big cultural moments, from decision-making in major capitals to trends in rural areas, those living in Europe and those trying to reach it.

This is not a one-way conversation. We are keen to hear from you, so send comments, suggestions and feedback to [email protected].

source: theguardian.com