Malta has reiterated its support to de-escalation attempts in the Eastern Mediterranean. At a meeting for Foreign and European Affairs in Luxembourg, Foreign Minister Evarist Bartolo urged all parties to respect international law, UNSC resolutions and UN ceasefire agreements, and to desist from any actions that will heighten further tensions and undermine attempts at restarting talks between all sides.
Minister for Foreign and European Affairs Evarist Bartolo participated in the Foreign Affairs Ministers’ meeting in Luxembourg.
Ministers had a long list on their agenda, including the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, the political situation in Belarus, the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue, Russia and the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean, amongst others.
Ministers also addressed the political challenges currently prevalent in different regions, notably the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh and the political situation in Belarus. Despite the recent ceasefire agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the weekend, the fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh has intensified.
Minister Bartolo strongly condemned the violence and urged both sides to accept an immediate and unconditional ceasefire.
The Russian-brokered ceasefire, aimed at allowing the sides to swap prisoners and bodies of those killed, is buckling, dimming peace prospects after deadly clashes broke out on Sept. 27..
Azerbaijan’s defence ministry said Armenian forces were shelling the Azeri territories of Goranboy and Aghdam, as well as Terter, and “grossly violating the humanitarian truce”.
“Azeri armed forces are not violating the humanitarian ceasefire,” defence ministry spokesman Vagif Dargiahly said.
The Foreign Affairs Ministers adopted conclusions on Belarus and reiterated that the elections held in Belarus were neither free nor fair, and that Alexander Lukashenko lacks democratic legitimacy.
The Council called for an end to violence and agreed to scale down bilateral cooperation with Belorussian authorities while pledging support for the Belorussian people and civil society. The Foreign Affairs Council tasked the Council’s Working Group Relex to continue working on the Franco-German initiative regarding the poisoning of Alexander Navalny.
In the margins of the meeting, Minister Evarist Bartolo also held bilateral meetings with Foreign Minister of Ireland Simon Coveney and with Foreign Minister of Austria Alexander Schallenberg.