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Azerbaijan cancels peace talks with Armenia, opposes France's involvement

Azerbaijan cancels peace talks with Armenia, opposes France's involvement

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has said his country does not want France to participate in its peace talks with Armenia, canceling a quadrilateral meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron and European Council President Charles Michel in Brussels on December 7.

Aliyev said today that Macron had "attacked" and "insulted" Baku and should not act as a mediator. Fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan flared in September over their decade-old dispute over the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but controlled mainly by ethnic Armenians, with support from Yerevan.

Each side accused the other of stoking tensions, while Armenia said Azerbaijan had occupied settlements within its borders. After reaching a September ceasefire last month in Prague, the two countries agreed to allow a European Union civilian mission to set up on their border.

But Aliyev accused Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan of trying to block the next phase of talks by insisting that France should be the mediator.

"Prague Format"

Armenia's foreign ministry said it wanted to maintain the "Prague format" of the talks, which included Macron and Michel.

A spokesman said Azerbaijan's claim that Yerevan was trying to derail the peace talks "has nothing to do with reality".

Macron has accused Russia of stoking tensions between Baku and Yerevan and also asserted his support for Armenia's sovereignty in phone conversations with Pashinyan.

Armenia also said on Friday that Azerbaijan had not yet responded to its latest proposals for a peace deal, which it presented at a meeting between their foreign ministers in Washington, DC in early November.

Source: AL Jazzera

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