February 29
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The European Union calls on Azerbaijan to protect and guarantee the rights of Nagorno-Karabakh Armenians, including the right of displaced persons to return to their homes. Josep Borrell, the European Union (EU) High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, stated this in response to a written question of an MP, reports the RFE/RL Armenian Service.

Borrell emphasized that Brussels calls also for a permanent international presence on the ground, and that the property and cultural heritage of Karabakh Armenians must be protected.

The EU foreign policy chief recalled that the European Union condemned Azerbaijan's military attack against Nagorno-Karabakh in September, and criticized the human casualties and the mass emigration of Karabakh Armenians due to this violence.

Although cooperation with Azerbaijan in the energy sector contributes to the EU's policy of diversification of energy sources, the European Union organizations continue to observe the situation on the ground and warn against further escalation of the situation, including against the territory of Armenia, Borrell said, adding that the ultimate goal of the EU is to advance a lasting peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Speaking at the 25th EU-NGO Forum for Human Rights, the EU foreign policy chief spoke also about the Karabakh conflict.

Josep Borrell stated that in recent years more and more conflicts are resolved by force, and pointed to the actions of Azerbaijan as an example. The outcome of the long-frozen conflict, which he would not say was resolved, but was decided by military intervention which forced 150 thousand people to be displaced within a week, Borrell said.

In one week, 150 thousand people had to leave their homes and flee. And the international community expressed regret, expressed concern, sent humanitarian aid, but everything happened with the use of force, said the EU foreign policy chief.

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