France to con­tinue to con­trib­ute to Nagorno-Karabakh con­flict res­o­lu­tion

Azer News - - Front Page - By Rashid Shiri­nov

France, as an OSCE Minsk Group co-chair, will con­tinue to con­trib­ute to the set­tle­ment of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh con­flict, Azer­bai­jani For­eign Min­is­ter El­mar Mam­mad­yarov said at a joint press con­fer­ence with French Min­is­ter of Europe and For­eign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drean on May 27.

France, as an OSCE Minsk Group co-chair, will con­tinue to con­trib­ute to the set­tle­ment of the Armenia Azerbaijan Nagorno Karabakh con­flict, Azer­bai­jani For­eign Min­is­ter El­mar Mam­mad­yarov said at a joint press con­fer­ence with French Min­is­ter of Europe and For­eign Affairs Jean Yves Le Drean on May 27. “We ad­here to the strat­egy of peace­ful set­tle­ment of the con­flict, and I am sure that France, as an OSCE Minsk Group co-chair, will con­tinue to help re­solve this sit­u­a­tion”, he said.

Mam­mad­yarov noted that France has played an im­por­tant role in the his­tory of in­de­pen­dent Azerbaijan and cur­rently the co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two coun­tries is ac­tively de­vel­op­ing in sev­eral pri­or­ity ar­eas.

“We be­lieve in the fruit­ful­ness of France's par­tic­i­pa­tion in Azerbaijan's economic, trans­port and en­ergy projects. This is the first visit of the French For­eign Min­istry del­e­ga­tion to Azerbaijan since 1997, and I hope th­ese vis­its will be­come more fre­quent in the fu­ture”, the FM said.

Mam­mad­yarov and Le Drean also dis­cussed is­sues of co­op­er­a­tion be­tween Azerbaijan and the EU.

“I asked my French col­league to as­sist us in the process of ne­go­ti­a­tions on sign­ing a new part­ner­ship agree­ment be­tween Azerbaijan and the EU”, the Azer­bai­jani FM said.

He added that Pres­i­dent of Azerbaijan Il­ham Aliyev and Pres­i­dent of France Em­manuel Macron had a two-hour tele­phone con­ver­sa­tion on May 27, dur­ing which they dis­cussed top­i­cal is­sues of bi­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion. Le Drean, in turn, noted that the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion and the sta­tus quo in Nagorno-Karabakh do not pro­vide a way to re­solv­ing the con­flict be­tween Armenia and Azerbaijan.

“France, as a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, will make the nec­es­sary ef­forts for a peace­ful set­tle­ment of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh con­flict, and we be­lieve that it is nec­es­sary to strengthen the work of the OSCE in this re­gard”, the French FM said.

Azerbaijan and Armenia fought a lengthy war that ended with sign­ing of a frag­ile cease­fire in 1994. Since the war, Ar­me­nian armed forces have oc­cu­pied 20 per­cent of Azerbaijan's ter­ri­tory, in­clud­ing Nagorno-Karabakh and seven sur­round­ing re­gions. More than 20,000 Azer­bai­ja­nis were killed and over 1 mil­lion were displaced as a re­sult of the large-scale hos­til­i­ties.

While the OSCE Minsk Group, co-chaired by Rus­sia, the U.S. and France, acted as the only me­di­a­tor in res­o­lu­tion of the con­flict, the oc­cu­pa­tion of the ter­ri­tory of the sov­er­eign state with its in­ter­na­tion­ally rec­og­nized bound­aries has been left out of due at­ten­tion of the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity for years.

Un­til now, Armenia ig­nores four UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil res­o­lu­tions on im­me­di­ate with­drawal from the oc­cu­pied ter­ri­tory of Azerbaijan, thus keep­ing ten­sion high in the re­gion.

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