EaP CSF Steering Committee Statement to support the EU Statement on captives from the recent conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan

The Steering Committee of the EaP CSF endorses and supports the “EU Statement on captives from the recent conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan” published on the 28th of April 2021. In this statement, the EU signals the consolidation of the November 9, 2020 ceasefire agreement, and reiterates that renewed efforts are necessary to build confidence between the two parties and reach sustainable peace.

In line with the statement, we welcome the positive yet limited results so far with regards to the release of the captives, the repatriation of human remains and the provision of humanitarian assistance. As recommended by the EU, we also strongly advocate for both sides to refrain from hostile and offensive rhetoric, for all remaining prisoners of war and detained persons to be allowed to return to their homes and for joint efforts, increased cooperation and transparency to identify and safely remove land mines and other explosive devices from the conflict area without risking more casualties.

We also approve of the third point of the EU statement stressing that State Parties under the European Convention on Human Rights are obliged to comply with interim measures under Rule 39 of the Rules of the Court.

The EaP CSF Steering Committee appreciates the EU’s commitment towards building a long-lasting peace and respectful dialogue between Armenia and Azerbaijan. This kind of clear and concise communication from the EU and quick reaction to human rights violations opens the way for a deeper and stronger partnership.

To conclude, we would like to remind all parties and stress the importance of involving civil society organisations in these processes to ensure transparency as well as proper implementation and monitoring of measures taken. We hope this statement from the EU will bring about positive and peaceful developments to the region so that all people, regardless of where they live, can now feel safe.

Members of the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership
Civil Society Forum