France would be responsible for causing new conflict in region: Azerbaijan

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has blamed France for causing a new conflict in the region by providing weapons to Armenia.

During a telephone conversation with European Council President Charles Michel, Aliyev stated that “including Azerbaijan in the quadrilateral statement without the participation of Azerbaijan in Granada was not the right approach,” the Azerbaijani presidency said in a statement.

“The provision of weapons by France to Armenia was an approach that was not serving peace, but one intended to inflate a new conflict, and if any new conflict occurs in the region, France would be responsible for causing it,” added Aliyev.

“The anti-Azerbaijani statement adopted by the European Parliament on the basis of a xenophobic and chauvinistic approach and the opinions expressed in it were unacceptable, adding that this did not serve peace and stability in the region,” he continued.

Michel expressed the bloc’s commitment to the Armenian-Azerbaijani normalization process ahead of a trilateral meeting in Brussels.

On Thursday, the EU invited the leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia for the peace talks in Brussels by the end of October.

“We believe in diplomacy and political dialogue. This is why we invite Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan for the meeting,” Michel said following a quadrilateral meeting with Pashinyan on the sidelines of the European Political Community meeting in Granda, Spain.

Aliyev did not attend the meeting in protest of France’s recent military and diplomatic moves in support of Armenia.

The long-awaited meeting between the leaders of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Germany, France and Michel was canceled following the latest diplomatic spat.

Hikmat Hajiyev, foreign policy advisor to the Azerbaijani president, noted Baku had proposed the participation of Turkey and Spain in a planning meeting, but that proposal was also rejected by France.

The meeting was scheduled to be held on the sidelines of the third summit of the European Political Community, which was an initiative of Macron to which leaders from more than 40 European countries were invited.

Azerbaijan regained full control over its territory of Karabakh last month after taking counter-terrorism actions, which resulted in the surrender of illegal armed groups, ending a decades-long conflict.

Authorities have repeatedly announced they will protect the rights and ensure the security of the Armenian residents in Karabakh, in accordance with Azerbaijan’s law.

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