BAKU—Azerbaijan has accused French President Emmanuel Macron of distorting the positions of the parties after the five-sided meeting in Chisinau.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan met on Thursday evening on the sidelines of the European Political Community summit in Moldova for the latest in a series of negotiations on a potential peace treaty. Macron, along with European Council President Charles Michel and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, joined the sit-down as mediators.
In a statement following the summit, the Elysée Palace said, “The European leaders called on Armenia and Azerbaijan to respect all their commitments,” urging the two neighboring nations to release prisoners of war and avoid “hostile rhetoric.” Additionally, Macron’s press service added that the three Western leaders “stressed the importance of defining rights and guarantees for the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh.”
On Friday, Press Secretary of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Aykhan Hajizada called Macron’s statement after the meeting “unilateral,” noting that it does not reflect the position of the parties and distorts it.
According to him, “This is not the first time that France demonstrates such behavior that does not contribute to the peace process between Azerbaijan and Armenia, peace, and stability in the region.”
Responding to the claims, the French foreign ministry said only that the press release issued by the presidency “set out the conclusions of yesterday’s meeting.” Hajizada, meanwhile, declined to elaborate on which parts of Paris’ version of events Baku believes are inaccurate.
A senior EU official, granted anonymity to discuss the sensitive political issue, confirmed to POLITICO that “the question of rights and security, which has also been a prominent part of the recent discussions in Brussels, was addressed yesterday.” Michel separately commented on the issue in a brief statement to reporters following the talks.