November 25, 2022 5:38 pm
On Friday, Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev canceled peace talks with Armenia that were due to take place in the Belgian capital Brussels on December 7.
Four-way talks with Armenia were planned, with the participation of French President Emmanuel Macron and European Council President Charles Michel.
Aliyev said Macron “attacked” and “insulted” Baku and could not be a mediator.
Fighting resumed in September between the two former Soviet republics over the decades-long dispute over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
The two sides exchange allegations that they sparked the latest round of fighting, during which Armenia claims Azerbaijan has seized areas within its borders.
A ceasefire was agreed in late September, and the two countries agreed last month in Prague, the Czech capital, to allow a European Union civilian mission to form on their borders.
On Friday, however, Aliyev accused Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan of trying to undermine the next stage of the talks by insisting that France mediate.
“Macron attacked… Azerbaijan and accused us of what we didn’t do,” Aliyev said, speaking in English at a conference with international representatives in Baku.
He added that the French president had adopted an “anti-Azerbaijan stance” and was “insulting” Baku.
“Under these circumstances and given this position, France cannot be part of the peace process between Azerbaijan and Armenia,” he added.
The Armenian Foreign Ministry says it wants to maintain the “Prague format” of the discussions, which foresees the participation of Macron and Michel.