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On 13 September 2022, Azerbaijani armed forces launched an offensive on the sovereign territory of Armenia, directly targeting the eastern and south-eastern border towns of Goris, Kapan, Jermuk, Vardenis and Sotk and a number of bordering villages, and attacking both military and civilian targets indiscriminately. As a result of this attack, the number of killed and missing persons on the Armenian side has reached 207 (including 3 civilians). 20 prisoners of war were taken. The number of displaced people rose to almost 3000.
This is not the first gross violation by Azerbaijan of international law, including international humanitarian law and the UN Charter, since the start of the 44-day war on Armenia on 27 September 2020. These acts are in clear opposition to the trilateral statement signed between Armenia, Russia, and Azerbaijan on 9 November 2020.
The EU-Armenia civil society platform (CSP) extends its gratitude to Armenia's international partners, including the European Union (EU), for their indefatigable efforts in brokering a ceasefire starting at 8 p.m. on 14 September 2022. At the same time, the CSP expresses concerns about a number of reports that Azerbaijan is preparing another offensive from the direction of Nakhchevan1.
The CSP recognises and appreciates the EU's continuing efforts to return both parties to the negotiating table. The Platform welcomes the statement made by the Chair of the Delegation for relations with the South Caucasus2 and also extends its special gratitude to the Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia and other ambassadors of the EU Member States for their recent visit to the bordering city of Jermuk in support of Armenia's sovereignty and to familiarise themselves with the situation on the ground.
At the same time, the CSP calls on the EU:
to condemn the recent aggression by Azerbaijan against Armenia and to insist on full compliance with the ceasefire;
to urge investigation of all allegations of human rights abuses and war crimes;
to send a clear message that any use of force jeopardises sustainable normalisation of relations in the region and is not acceptable;
to demand the immediate release of all prisoners of war, including those captured since the start of the 2020 war;
to organise a high-level EU visit to Armenia and Azerbaijan to discuss the situation and to coordinate actions in international bodies and forums.
calls on the Armenian Government:to work with the EU, as well as with other international organisations and partners, and make efforts to achieve the deployment of UN peacekeeping forces on the border of Armenia and Azerbaijan.