On October 14, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev attended the meeting of the Heads of State Council of Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in Astana. In his speech at the meeting, Aliyev touched upon a number of issues, including the most recent flare-up on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and the EU-mediated peace talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Speaking of the mediation efforts, Aliyev reminded the CIS state heads of the October 6 meeting in Prague between Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan, himself, President of the European Council Charles Michel, and President of France Emmanuel Macron. He went on to accuse Macron of trying to sabotage the peace platform.
Aliyev implied that the participation of the French President at the Prague meeting did not make sense.
Azerbaijan agreed to the four-sided meeting, including the participation of the President of France, although France has nothing to do with the relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia […] Azerbaijan showed goodwill nonetheless and allowed the French President to participate in this meeting.Ilham Aliyev
Aliyev went on to argue that a week after the quadrilateral meeting, Macron issued “insulting, unacceptable, false and provocative” statements. He was referring to Macron’s October 12 interview with France 2 television, where the latter accused Russia of trying to destabilize the Caucasus and falsely claimed that the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan is centuries-years old.
What’s been happening on the border [between Armenia and Azerbaijan] the last two years […] 5,000 Russian soldiers are allegedly there to guarantee the border, [but] the Russians have used this conflict which dated back several centuries and played Azerbaijan’s game with Turkish complicity and came back to weaken Armenia which was once a country it was close to. You see what’s happening? It’s an effort by Russia to destabilize. It wants to create disorder in the Caucasus to destabilize all of us.Emmanuel Macron
In his speech at the CIS meeting, Aliyev also argued that Macron “manipulated” the facts about the situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, “trying to mislead the French and world public”.
It was then stated that France would never abandon Armenia. This, as they say, is a matter of bilateral relations. Biased statements were also made against the Russian Federation, namely, that “Russia played the Azerbaijani game”. It is up to the French public to decide on how politically correct it is for the President of a great country to use the street lexicon. For our part, we categorically condemn and reject such statements and, given such an attitude of the French government, see no further possibility for France to play a role in the normalization of Azerbaijan-Armenia relations.Aliyev