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Outrage in Azerbaijan over planned EU and US meeting with Armenia

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (left), Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan (centre), US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (right). Official photos.

An upcoming trilateral meeting between Armenia, the EU, and the US has spurred controversy in Azerbaijan, which criticised the West for its alleged bias towards Armenia.

On Wednesday, Azerbaijani state news agency Azertac published a statement by Foreign Ministry spokesperson Aykhan Hajizade about the meeting scheduled for 5 April.

Hajizade accused the EU and US of negatively affecting the peace process between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and of spreading ‘anti-Azerbaijani propaganda’.

He argued that the West’s support of Armenia was ‘unilateral and biased’, that the upcoming meeting lacked transparency and inclusivity, and that it ran ‘counter to the much-needed and promoted trust and integrity building in the region’.

‘This creates new dividing lines and so-called spheres of influence in the region instead of stimulating the Armenian side to negotiate in good faith’, he said.

He added that Washington and Brussels’ intent to hold the meeting with Yerevan was an ‘open pro-Armenian public manifestation’ against the backdrop of a ‘revanchist mood in Armenia’.

Alen Simonyan, Armenia’s Parliamentary Speaker, speculated on Wednesday that Azerbaijan’s reaction could be indicative that they were preparing a ‘provocation’.


[Listen on OC Media: Podcast | Are Armenia and Azerbaijan heading towards war?]

Last week, Armenia’s Secretary of the Security Council Armen Grigoryan announced that the meeting would take place in early April. It will be attended by Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. 

Grigoryan said the three planned to discuss ‘aspects of trilateral cooperation that will contribute to the development of Armenia’.

‘The event also aims to strengthen Armenia’s resilience. There will be an opportunity to talk about the event in more detail in the near future’, he said.

On Tuesday, asked about the agenda of the meeting, US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said that Washington’s objective in engagements with Yerevan and Baku was to ‘encourage them to work to bridge the differences […] between the two countries and reach a durable and lasting peace agreement’.

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