Aliyev tells Klaar Brussels meeting had been a turning point

The EU’s Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the crisis in Georgia, Toivo Klaar, was in Baku earlier today to meet with the Azerbaijani president, Ilham Aliyev.

According to the Azerbaijani readout, Aliyev expressed his gratitude to the president of the European Council, Charles Michel, for his efforts in creating a forum within which the process of normalisation of relations with Armenia could be discussed. He called the 6 April meeting in Brussels an “official starting point”, because of the agreement on the establishment of the border commission and the working groups for a peace agreement. He said that the foreign ministers have already begun work, and progress had been achieved. He noted it was important to continue on this trajectory.

Ilham Aliyev touched upon the issue of opening regional communications, urging Armenia to begin work on the construction of railways, saying this was an issue “which needed to be clarified”. Aliyev claimed that unlike Armenia, Azerbaijan was also actively building its highway, saying that he had raised these issues at the meeting, but had not been provided with an adequate response by the Armenian prime minister, Nikol Pashinyan.

The Azerbaijan president said that the meeting had nonetheless been a success and "a turning point". He acknowledged that both sides must now “prove their seriousness at the table”, but thought that Michel’s mediation would provide a “positive environment” for successful negotiations.

In reply Toivo Klaar stated that it was also Michel’s position that the meeting had been a great success, and noted that the EU was committed to ensuring the implementation and continuation of the agreed issues.He said he will this week be also travelling to Yerevan to meet the Armenian leadership.

Later, Klaar tweeted that he had had a “substantive meeting” with Aliyev.

source: and agencies
photo: Toivo Klaar in Baku to meet with Aliyev; Office of the president of Azerbaijan