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France's attitude may put it in enemy camps against Azerbaijan - Irish pundit

27 December 2023 21:45 (UTC+04:00)
France's attitude may put it in enemy camps against Azerbaijan - Irish pundit
Qabil Ashirov
Qabil Ashirov
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Azerbaijan-France relations have been ebbs and flows recently. France's ambiguous support for Armenia, such as providing it with lethal weapons and international anti-Azerbaijani rhetoric, strictly damaged relations with Azerbaijan. Last week, Baku exposed a French espionage cell, and the employees of the French embassy were declared persona non grata on December 26, 2023.

Many experts put the blame on the French authority for worsening relations between Azerbaijan and, especially, the failed foreign policy of Paris. The South Caucasus is not the only region where French foreign policy has reached an impasse. Paris carries out unpredictable foreign policy in Ukraine, and it lost all its leverage in Niger and so on. The crisis within the French government gradually increased and reached such an extent that it is impossible to hide it anymore. President Emmanuel Macron fired Bernard Emie, the head of the Foreign Spy Agency, on the accusation of failure in Africa, Ukraine, and the South Caucasus.

To clarify the issue, Azernews learned the opinion of Irish political analyst and historian Patrick Walsh. He noted that French-Armenian matrimony is based on a win-win policy. Paris sees an opportunity to enter the South Caucasus with the help of Yerevan to replace Russia. On its turn, Yerevan considers Paris an important partner in the road leading to the EU.

“France has seen an opportunity in Armenia with Yerevan's pivot to the West. Its objective is to replace Russia if it can. He said that France is well positioned with its Armenian diaspora and past good relations with Armenia. It has something Yerevan desperately wants access to: a modern arms industry. It is also key to EU entry. There are lots of mutual benefits in this relationship,” Walsh said.

He underlined that Azerbaijan will obviously be concerned about this. France has been one of Armenia's most supportive powers in the past. It can provide Yerevan with sophisticated weaponry. The Armenians see this as a "game changer". So it really puts France in the enemy camp. Patrick Walsh emphasised that Armenia claims it is only interested in defence, but the Armenian record is one that has included a thirst for territory. With another government and at another time, the priority may not be defensive.

As for the question of how long the tense relationship between Azerbaijan and France could continue, he pointed out that this is a situation that is likely to continue.

“Although a peace deal may settle things for now in the South Caucasus, there is still a strong revanchist spirit in Armenia and in the diaspora. Unfortunately, strong vigilance will be needed, which is depressing because arms money would be better spent on development and social improvements,” the pundit said.

He also touched on the issue of possible future resignations or dismissals in the French government and noted that it is difficult to say. However, he added that wrongdoers are always looking for a victim to blame.

“It is difficult to say, but right across the West, there will be changes. There are always scapegoats for policy failure and the loss of influence in the Global South. These problems will not be addressed by the sacking of individuals since they are geopolitical failures related to a lack of realism in world affairs and being tied too closely to Washington's interests. Ukraine and Gaza will be the graveyard of many careers, military and political, in Europe,” the Irish historian added concluded.

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Qabil Ashirov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @g_Ashirov

Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz

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