Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev said Saturday that no one had invited the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmen to Baku, the Russian RIA Novosti agency reported.
The Minsk Group co-chairs Stephane Visconti of France, Andrew Schofer of the U.S., as well as the personal representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Andrzej Kasprzyk are in Baku before heading to Yerevan on Sunday as part an announced visit to the region.
Conspicuously absent from the visit is the Russian co-chair Igor Popov. However, reports indicate that Russia’s Ambassador to Azerbaijan Mikhail Bocharnikov attended the meeting.
“Coming here [Baku] was your idea,” Aliyev told the Minsk Group Co-Chairs. “I can once again repeat this statement in front of the cameras. I have not invited the Minsk Group to visit, but when I was told that the Minsk Group would like to come, I wasn’t opposed to it. Maybe they have something to tell me. If you would like say it in front of the cameras, go ahead. If not, I will ask you to leave. I am listening to you.”
“If Armenian fascism rises its head once again, we will smash it with an iron fist …. But, I hope that it will not happen.”
Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev pic.twitter.com/iFJEGLT8b3
— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) December 12, 2020
It was not clear why Popov did not attend the meeting.