Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan of Armenia, who is in Brussels on a working visit, and EU Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn answered reporters’ questions at a joint news conference on Tuesday.
Commenting on the question over his recent meetings with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and possible new accents that can be put on record, Pashinyan said: “You may know that our contacts have been of informal nature and we have not talked about ways and means of settling the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in general. So, I think there is some misunderstanding in your question as to whether there is something to add.
“We have yet to begin to discuss, and I have already said in Tehran that our upcoming meeting will inter alia feature a discussion on the format of the negotiations, because we do believe, and our position has not changed so far, that in order to achieve an eventually effective solution, we first of all need to create an appropriate format, which would imply Nagorno-Karabakh’s participation in the negotiation process.”
Responding to the question as to how the European Union can step up its support for the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno conflict, Hahn said during the new Armenian prime minister’s term of office they had an opportunity to organize new meetings between the leaders and foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan, hailing them as already ‘a breakthrough.’
“As for our support, I think we should leave everything as it is: we need not create anything new. But mutual confidence building steps are very important. And what can we do from the outside as the EU?
“We can support the entire region and we can promote cooperation between the countries in different areas. In other words, there should be many opportunities, but there are things that call for some time. I feel that at this point the conditions in the region are quite favorable for improving the regional situation.
“We must support, but only at the request of the parties, because they themselves know what to do, how to work together, and we should be ready to assist if the parties ask us to do so,” the European official said.