Azerbaijan rejects the Armenian peace talks scheduled in the United States

Nov 17 2023

BAKU: Azerbaijan on Thursday refused to participate in normalization talks with arch-rival Armenia that were scheduled to be held in the United States this month due to what it described as Washington’s “biased” stance.

Baku and Yerevan have been locked in a decades-long regional conflict over Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region, which Baku regained in September after a lightning attack against Armenian separatists.

Internationally mediated peace talks between the former Soviet republics have seen little progress, but leaders of the two countries said a comprehensive peace agreement could be signed by the end of the year.

The Foreign Ministry in Baku said in a statement: “We do not see it as possible to hold the proposed meeting at the level of the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia in Washington on November 20, 2023.”

The move came after a hearing in the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday, where the department said Assistant Secretary of State James O’Brien made “biased and biased statements” about Azerbaijan.

O’Brien told the House of Representatives committee that “there will be nothing normal with Azerbaijan after the events of September 19 until we see progress on the peace path.”

He added, “We have canceled a number of high-level visits and condemned (Baku’s) actions.”

“Such a unilateral approach by the United States could lead to the loss of the American mediation role,” the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said.

Armenian Prime minister Nikol Pashinyan said on Thursday that “Yerevan’s political will to sign a peace agreement with Azerbaijan in the coming months remains firm.”

Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev held several rounds of talks mediated by the European Union.

But last month, Aliyev refused to attend the round of negotiations with Pashinyan in Spain, citing “France’s biased position.”

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz were scheduled to join European Union Secretary General Charles Michel as mediators in those talks.

So far, no tangible progress has been made in the European Union’s efforts to organize a new round of negotiations.