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France's anti-Azerbaijani policy: Implications for Yerevan-Paris relations

27 May 2024 21:00 (UTC+04:00)
France's anti-Azerbaijani policy: Implications for Yerevan-Paris relations
Fatime Letifova
Fatime Letifova
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The process of signing a peace agreement between Azerbaijan and Armenia is progressing rapidly. The meeting held by the foreign ministers of the two countries in Almaty on May 10-11 indicates successful negotiations towards peace, with concrete agreements reached on continuing and accelerating delimitation and demarcation work.

However, differences of opinion persist, necessitating more frequent meetings to resolve them. Achieving peace in the region aligns with the interests of partner countries, promising innovations and developments in political, economic, social, and infrastructure aspects. Both Azerbaijan and Armenia stand to break free from the long-standing conflict, allowing countries like Turkey and Kazakhstan to implement new projects.

Some imperialist states oppose Armenia's intention to end the conflict, with France particularly concerned. Recently, the French government has emphasized that its cooperation with Armenia is solely based on business interests and not aimed at the welfare of the Armenian people. Since the end of the Second Karabakh War, the Macron government has actively worked to prevent the signing of a peace agreement in the South Caucasus.

These efforts have led to occasional tensions in Armenia and baseless accusations against Azerbaijan. France's attempts to cover up the failure of its foreign policy by labeling Azerbaijan as a "dictatorship" should be reconsidered in light of its own activities, including international legal violations, neo-colonial policies, racism, discrimination, Islamophobia, and restrictions on human rights.

Before labeling Azerbaijan as a dictatorship, France should learn from its own actions. The first step towards normalizing relations between Azerbaijan and France should be taken by Macron. While previous French presidents may have openly shown sympathy for Armenians, they did not escalate tensions with Azerbaijan or make anti-Azerbaijani statements. However, since Emmanuel Macron was elected president, he visited Armenia but did not visit Azerbaijan.

Macron and his team have elevated their anti-Azerbaijan policy since the Second Karabakh War. Azerbaijan has restored its territorial integrity and sovereignty over Karabakh. The Armenian government seems interested in signing a peace agreement with Azerbaijan, as borders are being defined and direct negotiations between the parties are yielding positive results. In this situation, the Armenian government does not need France's anti-Azerbaijan policy. On the contrary, this policy may create unnecessary problems between the Armenian and Azerbaijani governments through negotiations.

May 28th is Republic Day in Azerbaijan. Many state leaders have sent congratulatory letters to President Ilham Aliyev on this occasion. However, there is no news of a congratulatory letter from the French president to the Azerbaijani president. This indicates that Macron is not yet ready to normalize relations. Despite all of France's provocations, a return to relations between Baku and Paris is possible. For this to happen, the French president and members of the government should reconsider their policy in the South Caucasus, especially putting an end to their campaign against Azerbaijan and baseless accusations.

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