Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev has declined to attend a European Union summit in Spain this week, where he was expected to meet with Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to discuss the future of the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.
According to Azerbaijani officials, Aliyev was unhappy with the EU’s support for Armenia and its exclusion of Turkey, Azerbaijan’s main ally, from the talks. Aliyev also expressed his displeasure with France, one of the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group that mediates the Karabakh conflict, for providing military aid to Armenia.
The summit, which was scheduled for Thursday in Granada, was supposed to bring together the leaders of France, Germany, Armenia, Azerbaijan and the EU Council President Charles Michel to explore ways to resolve the decades-long dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh, a mountainous enclave that is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but was controlled by ethnic Armenians until last year.
However, the agreement left many issues unresolved, such as the status of Nagorno-Karabakh, the fate of Armenian cultural and religious sites, and the role of Turkey and other international actors in the peace process.
The EU has been trying to play a more active role in facilitating dialogue and cooperation between Armenia and Azerbaijan, as well as offering humanitarian and economic assistance to both countries. However, its efforts have been hampered by the lack of trust and goodwill between the parties, as well as the competing interests of regional and global powers.
The cancellation of Aliyev’s participation in the summit is seen as a setback for the EU’s ambitions and a sign of Azerbaijan’s dissatisfaction with its approach. It also raises doubts about the prospects of a lasting and comprehensive peace in Nagorno-Karabakh.