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Brussels, 16 August 2023 – On the 15th of August the Armenian Defense Ministry confirmed that the Azerbaijani Armed Forces targeted the European Union Mission in Armenia (EUMA) during patrols in the vicinity of Verin Shorzha. Despite an initial denial by the EUMA, published video evidence proved the attack on both EU observers and their vehicles.

In response, the EUMA deleted their initial statement on twitter discrediting the Armenian Defense Ministry and confirmed the attack within their designated patrol area. Fortunately, no injuries were sustained by EUMA members during this incident.

The EAFJD condemns the unthoughtful approach taken by the EUMA. This approach not only compromises the mission’s credibility but also casts serious doubts on its overall effectiveness. Such imprudent behavior carries significant political implications and, more alarmingly, jeopardizes the safety of the EU mission’s staff and the vulnerable civilian border communities, who are consistently subjected to these attacks.

It is disheartening to witness that, the EUMA refrains from explicitly identifying Azerbaijan as the aggressor and does not specify that Azerbaijan is responsible for the shootings and the attack on its personnel.

The EAFJD calls upon the EUMA to ground its observatory efforts on principles of transparency and accountability. This means ensuring the efficacy of their mission and maintaining a transparent approach to reporting their findings. Only through the adoption of such measures can the EUMA can maintain its credibility.

Furthermore, the EAFJD calls on High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell to take decisive actions against Azerbaijan. It is imperative for the EU to impose targeted sanctions against Azerbaijan, stand firm against the ongoing provocations and disregard for international law displayed by Azerbaijan. The EU must ensure it does not become a follower of Azerbaijan’s illegal actions.

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