Armenia and Azerbaijan agree to civilian EU mission alongside border


Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala welcomes Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev at the Informal EU 27 Summit and Meeting within the European Political Community at Prague Castle in Prague, Czech Republic, October 6, 2022. REUTERS/Eva Korinkova

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Council on Friday said Armenia and Azerbaijan have agreed to a civilian EU mission alongside the countries' border, where the worst fighting between the two ex-Soviet states since 2020 killed more than 200 people late last month.

It also said the next meeting of a border delimitation commission will take place in Brussels by the end of October.

The agreement was reached after Azeri President Ilham Aliyev, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, French President Emmanuel Macron and European Council President Charles Michel met in Prague on Thursday on the margins of the first gathering of the European Political Community.

"Armenia and Azerbaijan confirmed their commitment to the Charter of the United Nations and the Alma Ata 1991 Declaration through which both recognise each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty," the European Council said in a statement.

The civilian European Union mission will start in October for a maximum of two months.

"The aim of this mission is to build confidence and, through its reports, to contribute to the border commissions," the Council said.

The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan is linked to decades-old hostilities over control of the Nagorno-Karabakh region, internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan but until 2020 largely controlled by the majority ethnic Armenian population.

(Reporting by Charlotte Van Campenhout; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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