Fianna Fáil Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Brendan Smith TD has called on the European Union to use its political and economic influence in Azerbaijan and Armenia to end simmering tensions there over the contested enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh. At least 15 members of the armed forces have been killed since the tensions escalated in recent months.
Deputy Smith commented, “We are now beginning to witness other former states of the USSR walk blindly into a potentially serious conflict with their closest neighbours. The counter accusations of both Armenia and Azerbaijan stating that the other nation provoked the outburst of violence are a worrying development in light of the increasingly destabilising conflict in the Ukraine.”
“We cannot allow the EU to approach this impending crisis with the hands-off approach we have seen in its engagement with the Middle East conflict and the crisis in the Ukraine. Both Russia and the US have already spoken out seeking a peaceful settlement. Yet we have heard nothing from the EU. I am calling on the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD, to seek to have this matter discussed at the next EU Foreign Affairs Council so that Europe can speak with one voice in an effort for peace”.