On Saturday (21 August) the president of France, Emmanuel Macron, and the prime minister of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan, spoke on the phone.
According to the Armenian readout, the leaders discussed the current situation and developments in the region, and “stressed the need to resume the peace process under the auspices of the Minsk Group Co-Chairs for a comprehensive political settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.” Pashinyan is said to have praised Macron’s efforts to establish peace and stability in the region. The leaders also reportedly discussed France-Armenia bilateral relations.
The conversation followed phone calls between Macron and the presidents of the other Minsk Group Co-Chair countries, Russia’s Vladimir Putin (19 August) and the US’s Joe Biden (20 August). Whilst these conversations predominantly addressed Afghanistan, the French president reportedly expressed concern to the Russian president over increasing tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan, with Putin and Macron, according to the French readout, “[reaffirming] their common desire to see the co-presidency of the Minsk Group play an increased role in order to reach lasting solutions following the autumn 2020 war and the tripartite agreement of 9 November 2020”. The Russian readout reports that Putin informed Macron of progress in implementing the trilateral statements from 9 November 2020 and 11 January 2021 at the request of the latter, and the Russia readout says that “mutual disposition was expressed” in relation to working on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement, “primarily in the OSCE Minsk Group”.