Aliyev Says He Won’t Meet Pashinyan in Brussels due to Macron’s Anti-Azerbaijani “Insults”
In ominous news for the delicate peace-making process between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the next proposed meeting between the countries’ heads of state has been called off. It was due to take place in Brussels on December 7, facilitated by European Council head Charles Michel in Brussels and French President Emmanuel Macron.
This would have been the next step in the so-called ‘Prague Process’ – a peace-making effort initially started this September in the Czech capital with an agreement to allow a civilian EU mission to monitor the Az-Arm border.
However, since then, Macron has made public statements which Baku claims are biased against Azerbaijan. Notably, on October 7, in reference to the 2020 2nd Karabakh War, Macron told French TV that “Azerbaijan launched a terrible war, with many deaths [and] atrocious scenes” while criticizing more recent “offensives along the border” and saying that France would “not abandon Armenians.”
Baku immediately complained about these comments, with the foreign ministry declaring that “Azerbaijan is forced to reconsider France's efforts” in brokering the peace process. However, on Friday (November 25), Aliyev went further, declaring that he would not be prepared to meet Pashinyan in Brussels on December 7, given Macron’s involvement. It was Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s insistence on having France as a co-broker, he insisted, that had led to this impasse.
Meanwhile, Armenian sources accused Azerbaijan of failing to ‘expedite negotiations’ as agreed in a Washington meeting between the two countries’ foreign ministers on November 7. A Yerevan’s foreign ministry spokesman told ArmenPress that “Azerbaijan hasn’t responded to our proposals on a peace treaty” since that date.
For many outside commentators, this appears to be a victory for Russia, which had earlier seen its role undermined as a conduit for discussions between the two Caucasian enemies. Macron himself has accused Russia of stoking Armenia-Azerbaijan tensions.