Azerbaijan is angry at President Emmanuel Macron of France after the Élysée Palace said that during talks in Moldova on Thursday European leaders called for the release of all prisoners of war and to refrain from “hostile rhetoric.”
“European leaders have called on Armenia and Azerbaijan to respect all their commitments, in particular that of releasing war detainees as soon as possible,” the Elysee Palace said in a statement after Macron, along with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, joined talks between Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan hosted by European Council President Charles Michel in Chisinau, the capital of Moldova on Thursday.
According to the Elysee Palace statement, Macron specifically insisted on the importance of not indulging in any hostile rhetoric and for continuing the efforts for a return to peace for the benefit of all the populations in the region.
“They [EU leaders] also recalled the importance of the contribution of the EU monitoring mission in Armenia. Finally, they stressed the importance of defining rights and guarantees for the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh,” the statement reads.
Azerbaijan on Friday accused Macron of distorting the parties’ positions at the Moldova talks.
Aykhan Hajizadeh, Azerbaijan foreign ministry spokesperson, called Macron’s statement “unilateral,” adding that “it does not reflect the position of the parties and distorts it.”
“It is not the first time that France is demonstrating such behavior that does not contribute to the peace process between Azerbaijan and Armenia, peace and stability in the region,” Hajizadeh said.
Baku welcomed statements by Michel and the State Department, which voiced optimism about the talks, but rejected the Elysee Palace statement.