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Azerbaijan Accuses France of Provoking New War in Caucasus Region

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on Tuesday (21/11/2023) accused France of trying to encourage the latest regional war by sending weapons to Armenia.

Last month, France said it had agreed a new contract to supply military equipment to Armenia. Baku and Yerevan themselves have been involved in a decades-long territorial conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh region in Azerbaijan, which Baku recaptured in September after launching a military operation to crush Armenian separatists.

“France is destabilizing not only its past and present colonies, but also our region, the South Caucasus, by supporting separatist and separatist tendencies,” Aliyev said in his speech at a decolonization conference in Baku.

“By arming Armenia, they are implementing a militaristic policy, encouraging dissident forces in Armenia, and preparing the ground for the start of a new war in our region.”

1. Azerbaijan believes it can reach a peace deal with Armenia without Western mediation

Responding to this, French diplomatic sources said that France, together with its European partners and the US, seeks to realize a just and durable peace in the southern Caucasus, based on the principle of respect for sovereignty and borders.

Meanwhile, Azerbaijani presidential adviser Hikmet Hajiyev revealed that Baku wants bilateral peace talks with Armenia, and believes they can reach an agreement quickly without requiring Western mediation.

“Peace agreements are not nuclear physics. “If there are good intentions, the basic principles of a peace agreement can be realized in a short time,” he said.

“We need peace in our region, not in Washington, Paris or Brussels,” he stressed, when asked about Western involvement.

Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry also suggested that talks with Armenia could be held on the border between the two countries or at other locations.

2. Azerbaijan rejects suggestions that its country will seize Armenian territory

Reported by Reuters , a European diplomat voiced concern that Azerbaijan would annex territory to the south of Armenia after reclaiming the Karabakh region. The goal is to open a corridor to the Nakhchivan exclave, which borders Turkey, Iran and Armenia.

“We are very concerned about Armenia’s territorial integrity,” the diplomat said.

But Azerbaijan says the concerns are unfounded, and it is working with Iran to create a transport corridor to Nakhchivan across Iranian territory.

3. The US and EU are considered pro-Armenia

Years of mediation by the European Union (EU), United States (US) and Russia failed to get the two countries to sign a peace agreement. They have not agreed on the demarcation of their borders, which remain closed and highly militarized. Border skirmishes, which are often fatal, still occur frequently.

In recent months, Azerbaijan has repeatedly withdrawn from peace talks brokered by the US and EU, citing its perceived pro-Armenian bias.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan this week praised the EU for helping bring a peace deal closer, but said the two sides were still speaking different diplomatic languages.

Source : IDNTimes