Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has canceled plans to attend peace talks with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan after Baku’s military took control of the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region, local media reported Wednesday.
(Bloomberg) — Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has canceled plans to attend peace talks with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan after Baku’s military took control of the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region, local media reported Wednesday.
Aliyev won’t travel to Spain for Thursday’s talks on the sidelines of a European Union meeting because of France’s “destructive position” on the conflict, the pro-government Caliber news service reported, citing a person in the government it didn’t identify. He also won’t attend the meeting because Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan won’t be there, Caliber reported.
Erdogan earlier Wednesday scrapped plans to attend the peace talks in Granada, according to people familiar with the matter, citing the president’s busy schedule ahead of his ruling party’s convention on Saturday.
French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said France would deliver military equipment to Armenia “so that it can ensure its defense” during a visit to the capital Yerevan on Tuesday. During a phone call between US President Joe Biden and European leaders to discuss Ukraine, she also insisted on the need to support Armenia.
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Backed by Erdogan, Aliyev is pushing for a transport corridor across southern Armenia to link to Azerbaijan’s exclave of Naxcivan, bordering Turkey and Iran. That’s prompted fears in Yerevan about a potential military assault by Azerbaijan after Aliyev’s forces took full control of Nagorno-Karabakh last month, effectively ending a 35-year conflict with Armenia.
Erdogan has suggested a transport link could go through Naxcivan via Iran to Azerbaijan if Armenia refuses to accept the corridor across its territory.
More than 100,000 Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh have flooded into Armenia, abandoning their homes and possessions in the rush to leave after Azerbaijan’s lightning military assault.
–With assistance from Ania Nussbaum.
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