Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev declared on Friday (November 25) that he would not hold peace talks with Armenian prime minister in Brussels next month if French President Emmanuel Macron mediates as requested by Armenia. Azerbaijan has been accusing France of backing Armenia over breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenia and Azerbaijan have fought wars over the region.
Aliyev said he won’t meet Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan because of the latter’s demand for Macron to attend the talks.
Pashinyan “agreed to the meeting only on condition” that Macron take part, Aliyev told an international conference in Baku. “That means the meeting will not take place.”
He accused Pashinyan of attempting to “scupper the peace talks”.
Macron and European Council President Charles Michel last month attended a meeting between Aliyev and Pashinyan. The meeting took place in Prague.
On Friday, the Armenian foreign ministry said the meeting in Brussels should have the “same” format.
With Moscow increasingly isolated on the world stage following its February invasion of Ukraine, the EU and the United States have taken a leading role in mediating the Armenia-Azerbaijan peace talks.
On Friday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov insisted Moscow was “continuing its work on facilitating” talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
(With inputs from agencies)
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