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MEPs ‘Deplore’ Construction of New Armenia-Karabakh Highway

Three members of the European Parliament (MEP) have expressed disapproval of the construction of a new highway between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh in a joint statement issued on WednesdayPanorama.am reports.

The statement by MEP Marina Kaljurand, the head of the Delegation to the EU-Armenia Parliamentary Partnership Committee, the EU-Azerbaijan Parliamentary Cooperation Committee and the EU-Georgia Parliamentary Association Committee, the European Parliament’s standing rapporteur on Armenia, MEP Traian Băsescu, and the European Parliament’s standing rapporteur on Azerbaijan, MEP Željana Zovko, runs as follows:

“Announced last year, the construction of a third highway connecting Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh will kick off soon.

This new road infrastructure will connect Kapan, in Armenia, with Hadrut, in Nagorno-Karabakh, passing through the districts of Qubadli and Jabrayil, which are also occupied. As a matter of principle, we support projects that foster regional cooperation, connectivity and people-to-people contacts in the Eastern Neighbourhood.

That said, the decision to build this highway has been taken without the consent of the competent authorities of Azerbaijan – in violation of international law. In addition, it could symbolically entrench the illegal occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and of its surrounding districts.

Therefore, we very much deplore this initiative as it does not help to create conditions conducive to trust, peace and reconciliation.

We reiterate our unwavering support to the efforts of the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group and their 2009 Basic Principles. For this mediation to have a chance of success, we call on the authorities of Armenia and Azerbaijan to step up their commitment, in good faith, to the negotiation on the peaceful resolution of the conflict within the internationally recognised borders of Azerbaijan.”

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