Armenia says Pashinyan-Aliyev meeting canceled after Baku pulled out
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan's meeting with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, originally scheduled for late October in Brussels, has been cancelled after Baku pulled out, Russia's TASS news agency reported on Wednesday.
Both Armenia and Azerbaijan, two South Caucasus neighbors, have recently expressed their willingness to engage in negotiations aimed at signing a treaty to bring an end to decades of intermittent conflict revolving around the Nagorno-Karabakh region. This breakaway enclave, previously under the control of Armenia, was recaptured by Azerbaijan just last month, leading to the displacement of a significant portion of its population, primarily comprising some 120,000 ethnic Armenians who sought refuge in Armenia.
Addressing the cancellation, Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan took a direct and concise stance during a news conference in Yerevan, where he was joined by the visiting Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly.
"The answer to your question is very direct and brief," Mirzoyan said.
"You asked who did not find the time, obviously it was the president of Azerbaijan," TASS quoted Mirzoyan as saying. "I hope that the problem is really time. Armenia is ready to participate in this meeting."
This cancellation follows the recent meeting between Foreign Minister Mirzoyan and his Azerbaijani counterpart in Iran, marking their first diplomatic talks since Azerbaijan's swift military offensive that led to the reassertion of control over Nagorno-Karabakh. Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who attended these Tehran talks alongside his counterparts from Iran and Turkey, indicated that the principal issue had been resolved, though further work is required to advance toward a comprehensive peace treaty.