EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus, Toivo Klaar, freshly back from Baku where he had consultations with Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev on Friday, has used twitter to shed some light on the current state of Armenia-Azerbaijan relations
A few reflections following the visit to 🇦🇿 at the end of last week: 1)Important commitment by @presidentaz to 🇪🇺-facilitated format. 2)Many challenges remain; restraint and strong political will be needed by 🇦🇿 and 🇦🇲 to reduce tensions to achieve a comprehensive settlement. pic.twitter.com/jzl8aSYNF8— Toivo Klaar (@ToivoKlaar) November 28, 2022
The somewhat cryptic tweet comes in the light of a statement by the Azerbaijani president, a few minutes before he met Klaar on Friday, that he will not be going to Brussels for the scheduled summit with the Armenian prime minister Nikol Pashinyan. Aliyev is objecting to the presence in the EU mediated talks of French president Emanuel Macron. Macron, although not part of the original format which saw several Armenia-Azerbaijan summits being held in Brussels over the last year, all mediated by European Council president Charles Michel, was present at the latest meeting which was held in Prague. This led to some ambiguity whether the EU mediated process includes France as a fourth party in the discussions. Armenian prime minister Nikol Pashinyan seems to think so, but Azerbaijan's Aliyev has condemned recent French criticism of Azerbaijan and said he will not accept French mediation.
In his tweet Klaar gives no indication if the 7 December summit will take place, and if so in which format.
In the meantime both Armenia and Azerbaijan report exchange of fire on their international border and in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone overnight from Sunday to Monday (27-28 November).