Azerbaijan’s Aliyev Cancels Armenia Talks Over France’s Involvement

Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev on Friday canceled a four-way meeting with European Council’s head Charles Michel and French President Emmanuel Macron which was scheduled in Brussels on December 7, noting France cannot take part in the peace talks with Armenia.

Azerbaijan’s leader stressed that his country does not want France to take part and act as a go-between in its peace talks with Armenia after Macron allegedly attacked and insulted Baku.

Speaking in English at a conference with international representatives in Baku, Aliyev said that Macron has adopted an anti-Azerbaijan position and accused Baku of what it hasn’t done, which was insulting, and emphasized that with that attitude and under these circumstances, France cannot be part of the peace process between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

In his recent phone calls with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Macron reportedly affirmed his support for Armenia’s sovereignty and accused Russia of stoking tensions between Baku and Yerevan.

Though a formal ally of Armenia, Russia resisted calls to deploy forces to help Yerevan under a mutual defense pact after fighting broke out in September since it also seeks to maintain good relations with Baku.

That attitude prompted the Armenian PM on Wednesday to vent out his frustration, criticizing both Russia and the Russia-led security alliance CSTO for failing to aid his country in the face of the aggression by Azerbaijan.

Pashinyan called into question CSTO’s effectiveness during the summit in the Armenian capital, Yerevan that Russian President Vladimir Putin attended.

At the same time, Aliyev underscored that by insisting that France must be a broker, Pashinyan has tried to undercut the next stage of talks, an assertion that Armenia’s foreign ministry spokesperson noted has nothing to do with reality.

According to his statement, Armenia’s foreign ministry wanted to maintain the “Prague format” of discussions, which involved Macron and Michel, pointing out that Baku also had not yet responded to Armenia’s latest proposals for a peace agreement its foreign minister presented in Washington, DC at the start of November.

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