| 13 June 2024, Thursday |

Azerbaijan’s Aliyev to skip EU talks with Armenia, angry with France

Ilham Aliyev, the president of Azerbaijan, has decided against attending an EU-brokered event in Spain where he could have held talks with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Azerbaijani state media reported on Wednesday.

Aliyev had been considering taking part in a five-way meeting in Granada, Spain, on Thursday with the leaders of France, Germany, Armenia and EU Council President Charles Michel.

The five were due to discuss the future of the Nagorno-Karabakh region after Baku took back full control in a 24-hour military operation launched on Sept. 19, and to review the progress of long-running but troubled peace talks between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

Azerbaijan’s state-run APA news agency, citing unnamed sources, said Aliyev had decided against attending however. There was no immediate official confirmation that Aliyev would not go.

APA said Aliyev had wanted Türkiye to be represented at the meeting, but that France and Germany had objected, and said that Baku felt “an anti-Azerbaijani atmosphere” had developed among the meeting’s potential participants.

In particular, APA cited what it said was discontent in Baku around a statement made by Michel and what it regarded as “pro-Armenian statements” by French officials and France’s decision, announced on Tuesday, to supply Yerevan with military equipment.

French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna held talks with Armenia’s Pashinyan in Yerevan on Tuesday, the first trip there by a Western government minister since Azerbaijani forces retook Karabakh.

Azerbaijan’s foreign ministry issued a statement on Wednesday condemning what it said were unfounded comments by Colonna, who had voiced support for Armenia and its territorial integrity.

APA said that Azerbaijan would not attend any future talks that included France, but remained potentially open to possible three-way meetings with the EU and Armenia.

  • Asharq Al-Awsat