BAKU — Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev said on Friday that he has cancelled upcoming fresh talks with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan because the latter wants French President Emmanuel Macron to also attend them.

He said that France can no longer mediate Armenian-Azerbaijani negotiations because of Macron’s recent pro-Armenian comments and “anti-Azerbaijani” resolutions adopted by French lawmakers.

Aliyev and Pashinyan were scheduled to meet in Brussels on December 7 for further talks hosted by the European Union’s top official, Charles Michel.

“Yesterday [the Azerbaijani presidential aide] Hikmet Hajiyev informed me that he has been contacted by the office of Charles Michel and told that Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan is willing to meet only with the participation of French President Macron,” Aliyev told an international conference in Baku. “This means that the meeting will not take place.”

“We will discuss alternatives,” he said. “We will see who will assume the role of a mediator and on what platform.”

Aliyev claimed that Pashinyan set that condition in order to drag out the negotiating process and prevent the signing of an Armenian-Azerbaijani peace treaty sought by Baku.

The Armenian Foreign Ministry confirmed that Yerevan wants Macron to take part in the Brussels summit. It argued that Aliyev and Pashinyan met in Prague on October 6 in the presence of both Michel and Macron.

“It is logical that the format and the composition of the meeting should remain the same. All the statements of the Azerbaijani side that the Armenian side is trying to disrupt the meeting and the peace process have no connection with reality. Armenia is ready for the meeting on December 7 in line with the agreement and the format reached in Prague,” he said.

Accordingly, Hunanian denied that Yerevan is torpedoing the peace process.

At the same time, Hunanyan noted that Azerbaijan has not responded to Armenian proposals for concluding a peace treaty.

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