YEREVAN — Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has cancelled a fresh meeting with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan which was due to take place on Thursday on the sidelines of a European Union summit in the Spanish city of Granada.
Aliyev and Pashinyan were expected to be joined there by European Council President Charles Michel, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. The five leaders already met in this format in Moldova on June 1.
The Azerbaijani APA news agency reported on Wednesday that Aliyev accused the European leaders of pro-Armenian bias and demanded that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also join the talks. France, Germany and other parties rejected the demand, it said, citing official Baku. Diplomatic sources confirmed to RFE/RL that Aliyev and Erdogan will not fly to Granada.
Pashinyan expressed regret at Aliyev’s decision when he spoke in the Armenian parliament later in the day.
“We were very constructive and optimistic because we thought there is a chance to sign a landmark document,” he said. “Basically, up until this morning we assessed that probability as being very high.”
“Of course, we regret that the meeting will not take place, but we hope that the framework document, which is on the table, will be signed at an opportune time. I am ready to sign that agreement,” added Pashinyan.
The secretary of Armenia’s Security Council, Armen Grigorian, and Aliyev’s top foreign policy aide, Hikmet Hajiyev, as well as diplomatic advisers to Michel, Macron and Scholz met in Brussels on September 26 to prepare for the Granada summit. Haiyev said afterwards that the “quite constructive” meeting increased chances of the peace accord.