Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and EU chief Charles Michel meet in Chisinau, June 1, 2023.

YEREVAN (Azatutyun/Politico) — Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev met on Thursday, June 1, for the third time in less than three weeks for fresh peace talks mediated by the European Union.

They reported no concrete agreements following the meeting held on the sidelines of a European summit in Moldova’s capital Chisinau.

Aliyev and Pashinyan were joined by EU chief Charles Michel, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Michel said they focused on an Armenian-Azerbaijani peace treaty as well as “the security and rights” of Nagorno-Karabakh’s population, the restoration of transport links between the two South Caucasus nations and delimitation of their long border. He did not say whether the Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders narrowed their differences on these issues.

“This meeting has been a good preparation for the next meeting,” Michel told reporters after the talks that lasted for about 90 minutes. “It will take place in Brussels on July 21.”

“It means that we are working hard and we intend to support all the positive efforts in the direction of normalization of the relations,” he said, adding that the EU “will do everything” to facilitate the conflict’s resolution.

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Michel described the talks as “substantive” on his Twitter page. “Important to implement commitments,” he wrote.

Pashinyan’s office confirmed that he and Aliyev will hold another trilateral meeting with Michel on July 21.

The three men made progress towards the Armenian-Azerbaijani peace deal at their last meeting in Brussels held on May 14. In particular, Pashinyan confirmed that Yerevan is ready to recognize Azerbaijani sovereignty over Karabakh through such an agreement.

Aliyev and Pashinyan also held talks in Moscow on May 25. The talks hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared to focus on the reopening of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border for commerce and cargo shipments.

Pashinyan has described his latest meeting with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev as “useful” but disclosed few of its details.

Pashinyan and Aliyev met in Moldova’s capital Chisinau on Thursday on the sidelines of a European summit. They were joined by EU chief Charles Michel, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. No concrete agreements were announced as a result.

Michel said the Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders will meet again in Brussels on July 21. According to Pashinyan, their foreign ministers will hold fresh talks in Washington on June 12 in preparation for the next summit.

“On the whole, I consider the discussion useful,” Pashinyan told a group of ethnic Armenians from Moldova and Ukraine in Chisinau later in the evening.

Aliyev last week insisted that the border demarcation must be carried out on Baku’s terms and warned of fresh military action against Armenia. Yerevan condemned his threats.

Baku also shed a little light on the Chisinau talks. The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry on Friday accused Macron’s office of misrepresenting them. But it did not specify which concrete parts of a French readout of the talks “distort the positions of the parties.”

Macron Comments

French President Emmanuel Macron, who held a press conference on the results of the European Political Union summit in Moldova on June 1, stressed the need to resolve ongoing conflicts in Europe. Speaking about the war in Ukraine, and the tension in Kosovo, Macron also touched on the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

“We brought together Prime Minister Pashinyan and President Aliyev together with President Michel and Chancellor Scholz. The goal is to continue the negotiation process between these two countries and achieve peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan. For this, the sovereignty of both countries and the security of people, including minorities, must be respected. This is important for us,” Macron said.

“The European leaders called on Armenia and Azerbaijan to respect all their commitments, especially the commitment to release prisoners of war soon. They also mentioned the importance of the contribution made by the monitoring mission of the European Union in Armenia. Finally, the importance of determining the rights and guarantees for the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh was emphasized. President Emmanuel Macron particularly insisted on the importance of not allowing any hostile rhetoric and continuing efforts to return to peace for the sake of the well-being of the entire population in the region,” the Press Service of the French President noted.

On the same day, Aykhan Hajizada, the Press Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, said that the statement issued by France about the meeting distorted the position of the parties.

“Within the framework of the European Political Community summit in Chisinau, the press release on the results of the meeting between the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Prime Minister of Armenia with the participation of the President of the EU Council Charles Michel, the President of France and the Chancellor of Germany was given by Charles Michel as the organizer of the Brussels format according to tradition. Later, the statement made unilaterally by the French President about the meeting does not reflect and distorts the parties’ position. Unfortunately, this is not the first case of such behavior by France, and it does not make a positive contribution to the peace process between Azerbaijan and Armenia, peace and stability in the region,” Hajizada added.


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