French President Macron, PM Pashinyan and President Aliyev meet in Brussels, discuss 'complex subjects'
President Macron initiated one more Pashinyan-Aliyev meeting
French President Emmanuel Macron Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and President Aliyev met in Brussels. The meeting was not planned, or at least was not announced in advance.
No details have been reported on the exact topics that the Armenian Prime Minister and the President of Azerbaijan have discussed with the mediation of Emmanuel Macron. It is only known that the meeting took place after the end of the EU Eastern Partnership summit, which was also attended by the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan.
The day before, Pashinyan-Aliyev negotiations took place with the mediation of the head of the European Council Charles Michel, as well as bilateral negotiations, face to face, which were also not announced in advance. On the same day, Macron had a phone call with president Putin, in which presidents discussed the possibility of settling the Karabakh conflict.
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“The topics were difficult”
On December 14, negotiations between Pashinyan and Aliyev took place in Brussels, with the participation of the head of the European Council. The meeting organiser, Charles Michel, described the four-hour discussion as open and honest, stressing that the “topics were difficult”.
Following the trilateral meeting, Charles Michel gave the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan the opportunity to speak face to face. This was the first meeting between Pashinyan and Aliyev without intermediaries after the end of the second Karabakh war.
The next day, after the completion of the Eastern Partnership Summit, the press service of the Armenian government announced a meeting between the Armenian Prime Minister and the Azerbaijani President with the participation of president Macron.
The press service stated that the meeting was held on the initiative of the French president.
Macron: “We will never abandon Armenians”
After the meeting, a video appeared on the French president’s Twitter page in which Pashinyan and Macron greet each other. The Twitter caption says:
“We will never abandon Armenians. We will always seek solutions for a sustainable peace. I call for this holiday [New Year’s] period to become a period of humanitarian progress and reconciliation”.
Macron-Putin phone conversation ahead of the Brussels meeting
The French President discussed the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with the Russian President ahead of his meeting with PM Pashinyan and President Aliyev. According to the Kremlin press service, this telephone conversation took place at the initiative of the French president.
Putin briefed Macron on the results of his meeting with the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Sochi on November 26, as well as on the observance of the ceasefire and the work carried out to restore economic and transport links in the region.
The Presidents of Russia and France expressed hope that the Pashinyan-Aliyev meeting in Brussels would be effective.
According to political observer Hakob Badalyan, everything suggests that Macron was in a hurry to organize the meeting:
“It can be assumed that after the meeting initiated by Michel, Macron saw the need to organize a new meeting”.
The journalist recalls that before that, Macron and Putin discussed the Karabakh issue.
“Was it as a result of this conversation that [Macron] decided to organize the Pashinyan-Aliyev meeting on December 15? What is the reason behind this [ decision]?”, Badalyan asks.
According to the political observer, the phrase “France will not abandon Armenians” is beyond doubt, it has been voiced since the first days of the war. But the parliament of this country adopted a resolution on the need to recognize the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh only after the end of the war and after changing of the status quo.
“The political content of this regularly repeated statement is very important because it sounds like support – as much as it sounds like ‘justification’.
In any case, the new meeting under the auspices of Macron after talks with Michel shows that the situation is much more complicated than it seems”.