Efforts are still needed for a negotiated, comprehensive and sustainable settlement of the conflict, including on the status of Nagorno-Karabakh. European Commission's answer to ADL & AYMS
Following the letter regarding the Armenian POWs held by the Azerbaijani army sent by the Chairman of the ADL Ramgavar party of Jerusalem, Hagop Shohmelian, and the Chairman of the AYMS Hoyetchmen Club of Jerusalem, Sarkis Djernazian, we have received an answer from the President of the European Commission, Ms. Ursula von der Leyen.
The answer is as follows:
Brussels, 20 January, 2021
Chairman of the ADL
Ramgavar Party Jerusalem
Chairman of the AYMS
Hoyetchmen Club Jerusalem
Thank you for your letter of 3 December to the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, on the exchange of prisoners following the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. I have been asked to reply.
As you know, hostilities between both parties have ended on 10 November. The EU welcomes the cessation of hostilities in and around Nagorno-Karabakh. The ceasefire of hostilities will prevent the further loss of life, but efforts are still needed for a negotiated, comprehensive and sustainable settlement of the conflict, including on the status of Nagorno-Karabakh. The EU reiterates its full support to the established format of the OSCE Minsk Group, led by its Co-Chairs, to pursue this objective, and follows the implementation of the provisions of the ceasefire closely.
The EU has always been clear that further violence must be avoided and stresses that international humanitarian law must be respected. The EU reiterates its calls on the parties to implement the agreements on the exchange of prisoners of war reached within the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs format on 30 October in Geneva. The protection of vulnerable persons, including civilian lives durinv the conflict, is an obligation under international humanitarian law and the EU consistently reminded the sides to the conflict about their responsibilities. Any war crimes that might have been committed should be investigated.
The EU continues to engage with all parties to effectively contribute in the shaping of a durable and comprehensive settlement of the conflict, including where possible through support for stabilisation, post conflict rehabilitation and confidence building measures.
Please know that we continue to follow the situation very closely including via our Delegations in Yerevan and Baku and the EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus.