By Rashid Shirinov
The so-called France-Karabakh friendship circle is an unrecognized organization that does not have any official status, Hikmat Hajiyev, spokesman for Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry, told APA on November 29.
He made remarks on the visit of the circle’s members to the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
Hajiyev said the circle consists of the members of Armenian lobby in France and persons who are under the full influence of the Armenian lobby.
The spokesman noted that Jacques Remiller, who took part in the visit to the occupied territories, now is added to the list of "persona-non-grata" of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry.
“Since France will hold parliamentary and presidential elections next year, some parliamentarians resort to such provocative and biased acts in order to get financial and political support from the Armenian lobby in France,” Hajiyev said.
He added that they also promote the criminal regime created in Azerbaijan’s occupied lands as a result of the military aggression and bloody ethnic cleansing. Hajiyev noted that the Armenian lobby is making a political tool out of such persons by blackmailing and threatening them.
“The position of the French government in the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict is unambiguous and clear," the spokesman said. “As OSCE Minsk Group co-chair, France supports Azerbaijan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, and is working to find a solution to the conflict through negotiations.”
Partnership and friendly relations between Azerbaijan and France are developing in all spheres, including at the level of legislative bodies, Hajiyev concluded.
Armenia captured Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions of Azerbaijan in a war that followed the Soviet breakup in 1991. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and nearly one million were displaced as a result of the war. Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions are temporarily out of the control of Azerbaijan as a result of Armenia’s aggression.
Unauthorized visits to Nagorno-Karabakh and other occupied regions of Azerbaijan are considered illegal and individuals who pay such visits are included in the ministry’s “black list”.
The list of persona non grata banned from visiting Azerbaijan includes MPs, media persons, businessmen, entertainers, and others, who violated Azerbaijan’s borders and showed disrespect to the sovereignty and territorial unity of the country.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
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