By Vafa İsmayilova
Azerbaijani presidential aide Hikmat Hajiyev has slammed France for pursuing an open pro-Armenian policy, Trend reported on November 11.
“Despite the fact that France, in accordance with its mandate, must act as a neutral party, it openly pursues the pro-Armenian policy and voices completely unfounded accusations against Azerbaijan,” Hajiyev said.
The presidential aide added that contrary to the mandate of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair, French officials “are voicing unilateral, biased appeals”.
He ruled out France's any role in the adoption of a joint declaration signed by Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia to end the Nagorno-Karabakh war, which entered force on November 10.
“France did not play any role in the adoption of a joint declaration of the presidents of Azerbaijan, Russia, and the prime minister of Armenia,” Hajiyev said.
“Apparently, France is showing jealousy over Russia's role in this issue. The signing of this document by the Armenian prime minister tells its own tale… France is trying to be more Armenian than the Armenians themselves,” he added.
“France does not have any authority to speak on behalf of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs," the presidential aide stressed.
“On the contrary, France, as the co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, did not take any step to end Armenia's aggression against Azerbaijan and implement the UN Security Council resolutions, it now unilaterally demonstrates zeal,” Hajiyev said.
“I wonder whether France has worried about the return of Azerbaijani internally displaced people to their native lands over the past 30 years?”
“However, France is concerned about the liberation of Azerbaijani lands from occupation and ensuring the rule of international law,” he said.
“In conclusion, I would like to remind the official structures of France that the historic Azerbaijani city liberated from occupation, which holds a special place in the hearts of Azerbaijanis, is called Shusha, not Shushi,” Hajiyev stressed.
In the morning of November 10, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia signed an agreement to end the military conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Under the deal, Russian peacekeepers are deployed in the region to patrol frontlines. Turkey also takes part in the peacekeeping process. Turkey and Russia signed a deal on creating a Turkish-Russian joint ceasefire monitoring centre.
The clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan resumed after Armenia launched large-scale attacks on Azerbaijani forces and civilians on September 27. Five Azerbaijani civilians were killed on the first day of the Armenian attacks. Ninety-three Azerbaijani civilians were killed in Armenian's indiscriminate attacks on Azerbaijani civilians. Azerbaijan launched counter-offensive operations that ended in the liberation of over 300 settlements, villages. Azerbaijan also liberated five city centres and the historic Shusha city that was liberated on November 8.
The 44 days of war ended with the Russian brokered peace deal signed on November 9 by Azerbaijan, Russian and Armenian leaders. The peace agreement became effective on November 10 and envisages de-occupation of Azerbaijan’s Kalbajar, Aghdam and Lachin regions by December 1 as well as the return of Azerbaijani IDPs to Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh and the seven adjacent regions under the control of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
The peace agreement ended the 30-years-old conflict between Baku and Yerevan over Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region that along with the seven adjacent districts came under the occupation of Armenian armed forces in the war in the early 1990s. For about three decades, Armenia failed to implement the UN Security Council resolutions demanding the withdrawal of the Armenian troops, which was the main obstacle to the resolution of the conflict.
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