BRUSSELS -- Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian lashed out at Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh at a meeting with European Union representatives in Brussels on December 17.
Nalbandian said that it was the citizens of the area who would decide its final status in a referendum and that human rights would be better protected there than they currently are in neighboring Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan's Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov earlier on December 17 in Brussels told EU representatives that Armenian communities in Nagorno-Karabakh should become loyal citizens of Azerbaijan.
He vowed at a news conference that Baku would step up its efforts to bring about the withdrawal of Armenian troops from Nagorno-Karabakh.
Cypriot Foreign Minister Erato Kazakou-Marcoullis, representing the EU, underlined that Brussels had no intention of joining the OSCE Minsk Group that currently mediates in the conflict.
But he expressed disappointment that 20 years of mediation had failed to provide a lasting solution.
"This conflict has no place in the region. It is unacceptable. It is against all our values," Kazakou-Marcoullis said. "It seriously hampers integration, growth, and investment in large infrastructure projects."
Nalbandian was in Brussels to sign a visa-facilitation agreement with the EU, which will make it easier for Armenian citizens to obtain visas to the bloc.
He also said that EU citizens will be able to travel to Armenia without a visa as of January 10.