Aliyev Says Visiting Minsk Group Co-Chairs Were Not Invited to Baku

OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs meet with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev
OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs meet with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev

OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs meet with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev

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.”

It was not clear why Popov did not attend the meeting.

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