BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union agreed Monday to send up to 40 experts to Armenia to help watch over its border with Azerbaijan in an effort to help restore peace and build confidence between the longtime foes.
The monitoring mission will be deployed for up to two months, Its aim is to restore some confidence at a time when a lack of security “is putting lives at risk and jeopardizes the conflict resolution process,” EU headquarters said in a statement.
Last month, Armenia and Azerbaijan negotiated a cease-fire to end a flare-up of fighting that killed 155 soldiers from both sides.
The EU mission will help with the work of border commissions set up earlier this year to address concerns over the delimitation of the two countries’ common border.
The ex-Soviet countries have been locked in a decades-old conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, which is part of Azerbaijan but has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since a separatist war there ended in 1994.
The EU monitoring mission idea was floated after the leaders of historic foes Turkey and Armenia earlier this month held their first face-to-face meeting since the two countries agreed to improve relations.