by Marianna Mkrtchyan
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement remains one of the top priorities for the foreign policy of the European Union, Stefan Fule, the European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, said in an interview to the 'The Business Year - Azerbaijan 2014' magazine.
Trend quotes Fule as saying, "The EU is fully committed to supporting the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement process." "Only a peaceful, negotiated settlement can allow the entire region to move toward a secure and prosperous future and can help unleash the full potential of the South Caucasus region as a gateway between Europe and Asia." He also said the EU is concerned about the lack of tangible progress on the settlement of the conflict. "In this context, we welcomed the meeting of the President of Azerbaijan and President of Armenia in Vienna on November 19, 2013, and commended the OSCE Minsk Group Co- Chairs for their efforts in facilitating the resumption of top level meetings," Fule underscored.
He stressed that the EU called upon Azerbaijan and Armenia to step up their efforts toward agreement on the Madrid Principles as a basis for peace, in accordance with the commitments undertaken by the Presidents within the OSCE Minsk Group. "Concerned about the escalation of tension due to confrontational rhetoric and serious incidents along the line of contact and along the international border between the two countries, the EU has urged both sides to respect the ceasefire agreement, fulfill their commitments made in the framework of the Minsk Group, and refrain from actions and statements that could heighten tension and undermine the peace process," Fule added.