March 20, 2019 - 13:42 AMT
Azerbaijan says can't accept talks format change proposed by Armenia

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev considers changing the format of negotiations on the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict "unacceptable".

Since taking office in May 2018, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has repeatedly stressed the importance of Artsakh's involvement in negotiations. The involvement, he says, is neither a whim nor a precondition, but mere confirmation that Artskh's participation is key when it comes to the fate of its people.

"The Armenian side has raised questions about changing the format of negotiations. However, Azerbaijan, naturally, cannot accept [such a change]," Aliyev said in his message on the occasion of Novruz.

"At the same time, the ambassadors of the Minsk Group co-chairing countries - representatives of the United States, France and Russia - issued a serious statement and stressed that the format should remain unchanged.

"Similar statements were made by high-ranking officials of the European Union.

"This is definitely a serious signal for Armenia, which shows that the position of Azerbaijan is gaining even greater support."

Aliyev added that Azerbaijan's position on the settlement of the conflict remains unchanged.