France to continue to contribute to Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution
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.