Azerbaijan announced on November 25 that it had canceled peace talks planned in Brussels with Armenia because Yerevan insisted that French President Emmanuel Macron attend.
While a peace meeting between Armenia and Azerbaijan was scheduled for December 7 in Brussels, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian “accepted this meeting on the condition that French President Macron is present”, said on November 25 Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev at an international conference in Baku. However, “this means that the meeting will not take place”, he added, according to comments reported by AFP.
Relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan have been poisoned for more than 30 years by territorial disputes, particularly around Nagorno-Karabakh, a mountainous region populated mainly by Armenians which seceded from Azerbaijan in the early 1990s. with the help of Yerevan. These disputes have led to two wars, with heavy tolls illustrated by thousands of deaths, in which Baku accuses Paris of lacking neutrality in supporting Yerevan.
Since the 2020 war, halted by a Russian-sponsored ceasefire, Armenia and Azerbaijan have been engaged in difficult peace negotiations, with several parallel initiatives.
Nevertheless, clashes regularly take place on the border between the two Caucasian countries. In September, fighting left 286 dead on both sides and raised fears of a large-scale war, like the one that killed more than 6,500 in 2020.
In this context, Russia is still leading peace efforts with the two nations: questioned on December 25 by the press on the cancellation of the meeting in Brussels by Ilham Aliyev, the Kremlin spokesman indicated that Russia was ” ready to host the talks between Baku and Yerevan”.