Pashinian, Aliyev discussed Armenian-Azerbaijan peace agenda

Pashinian, Aliyev discussed Armenian-Azerbaijan peace agenda

PanARMENIAN.Net - Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan spoke with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on Tuesday, December 27 during a summit of the leaders of ex-Soviet states in Saint Petersburg, an Armenian government spokeswoman said, RFE/RL’s Armenian service reports.

The official, Nazeli Baghdasaryan, said they discussed the “Armenian-Azerbaijan peace agenda” during their “unofficial contacts” there.

“The discussions took place in a bilateral format,” Baghdasaryan added without giving further details.

It was Aliyev’s and Pashinyan’s first face-to-face conversation since Azerbaijan’s September 19-20 military offensive that restored Azerbaijani control over Nagorno-Karabakh and forced the region’s population to flee to Armenia.

The two leaders previously met in Brussels in July for talks hosted by European Union Council President Charles Michel. Aliyev twice cancelled more such talks which Michel planned to organize in October.

Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov similarly withdrew from a November 20 meeting with his Armenian counterpart Ararat Mirzoyan in Washington. Baku accused the Western powers of pro-Armenian bias and proposed direct negotiations with Yerevan.

Pashinyan suggested on December 18 that Aliyev may be dragging his feet on a peace treaty with Armenia sought by the EU and the United States.

Russia has been very critical of the Western peace efforts, saying that they are primarily aimed at driving it out of the South Caucasus. On December 6, Moscow rebuked Yerevan for ignoring its recent offers to organize more Armenian-Azerbaijani negotiations and warned that Pashinyan’s current preference of Western mediation may spell more trouble for the Armenian people.

It is not clear whether Russian President Vladimir Putin tried to hold a formal trilateral meeting with Aliyev and Pashinyan on the sidelines of Tuesday’s Commonwealth of Independent States summit. The Kremlin did not signal such attempts in the run-up to the summit.

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