Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev has accused France of “preparing the ground for a new war” in the Caucasus by “arming” Armenia, according to a statement released today.
Paris is “destabilizing” the region by “arming” Armenia and “preparing the ground for a new war in our region,” Aliyev claimed.
In addition, an adviser to Aliyev, Hikmet Hajiyev, told Reuters today that Azerbaijan wants bilateral peace talks with Armenia and believes the two countries can quickly reach an agreement without the need for Western mediation.
“A peace agreement is not nuclear physics. If there is good will, the basic principles of a peace agreement can be worked out in a short time,” Khadzhiev said.
However, on the issue of Western involvement, he added: “We need peace in our region, not in Washington, Paris or Brussels.”
Azerbaijan, which maintains close ties to Turkey, has in recent months repeatedly pulled out of peace talks brokered by the US and the EU, accusing both of pro-Armenian bias.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan this week credited the EU with helping bring a peace deal closer, but said the two sides were still “speaking different diplomatic languages”.
Khadzhiev argued that the United States has adopted “double standards and an unconstructive attitude.” Azerbaijan has also been heavily critical of France, which announced last month that new contracts had been signed for the supply of military equipment to Armenia.
Addressing a conference on decolonization today, Azeri President Ilham Aliyev claimed France was responsible for “the most bloody crimes in the colonial history of mankind”.