Nagorno-Karabakh, EU Bishops appeal for intensifying multilateral peace efforts
COMECE calls on the European Union to actively engage for peace in the Nagorno Karabakh region and provide concrete assistance to communities affected by recent flare-up of violence between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Since the end of September 2020, the Nagorno Karabakh has been repeatedly experiencing renewed waves of violence, leading to the loss of lives of many civilians and to the destruction of homes, basic infrustructures and places of worship.
COMECE expresses concerns about the situation in the south Caucasus, currently marked by fragile truces interrupted by armed clashes, causing not only grave material damage, but also spiritual suffering.
In recent weeks, Pope Francis has addressed several appeals to the parties in conflict “to stop the shedding of innocent blood and engage in sincere negotiations with the help of the international community”.
While joining Pope Francis’ prayers for a lasting peace in the region, COMECE welcomes the humanitarian assistance provided by the European Commission to cover the needs of civilians affected by the conflict, and calls on the EU to actively contribute to the OSCE-led negotiation efforts involving all conflict parties and regional stakeholders.
In this context, Fr. Manuel Barrios Prieto, General Secretary of COMECE, appeals on the EU to ensure the protection of places of worship and the safety of all local communities. In the medium and long term, COMECE also enourages the EU to promote integral human development and a strategy on empowering people - especially the youth - at all levels of political, social and economic life in the region.