By Vafa Ismayilova
Azerbaijan has described as a provocation a resolution adopted by the French Senate considering the need to recognize the so-called Nagorno-Karabakh republic.
In a statement issued on 25 November, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry ruled out any legal force of the document for the country.
“First of all, we would like to note that the proposal for a resolution on "The need to recognize the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic" adopted by the French Senate was put forward by a group of overtly pro-Armenian senators. The day before the vote on the resolution, the Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan to France addressed the members of the Senate in accordance with the hearing procedures of the Senate and provided detailed information on the one-sided and untrue points reflected in the proposal of the resolution. As such, the adoption of a completely biased resolution by the Senate can only be considered as a provocation. It seems that French Armenians widely use the issue of the conflict for election purposes,” the ministry stated.
The statement added that the adoption of the resolution cast doubt on France’s neutrality as a mediator state.
”We would like to emphasize that the resolution adopted by the Senate has no legal force. Nevertheless, given the political significance of the resolution, the imposition of such a resolution by a country with a mediating mandate seriously casts doubt on the country's neutrality. It also undermines France's reputation as a fair mediator in the Azerbaijani society,” the statement said.
The ministry advised the French Senate to contribute to activities to maintain regional peace and stability, rather than to adopt biased documents.
“Instead of adopting biased resolutions, engagement of the French Senate in activities that serve peace, stability and progress in the region would respond to the interests of France and lead to the sustainable development of the region,” the ministry said.
The statement reiterated France's official position supporting Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity.
“Of course, it should be noted that the official position of the French Republic on the settlement of the conflict was voiced by high-ranking state officials, including the President and Foreign Minister. France supports the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, and this is reflected both in the documents signed in the bilateral framework and with the European Union. The Secretary of State of the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, who addressed the discussions in the Senate, also expressed the official position in his speech,” the statement said.
Earlier, Secretary of State at the French Foreign Ministry Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne said that the unilateral “recognition” of Nagorno-Karabakh will not benefit anyone, nor will it serve as mediating efforts.
He made the remarks commenting on the resolution adopted by the French Senate. Lemoyne stressed that France, as a country – co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, stands for the implementation of the ceasefire agreement in the region.
On November 10, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a Russia-brokered agreement to end fighting and work towards a comprehensive solution.
The November peace agreement ended the 30-years-old conflict between Baku and Yerevan over Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region that along with the seven adjacent regions came under the occupation of Armenian armed forces in the war in the 1990s. For nearly three decades, Armenia failed to implement the UN Security Council resolutions (822, 853, 874 and 884) demanding the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of its troops, which was the main obstacle to the resolution of the conflict.
The OSCE Minsk Group co-chaired by the United States, Russia and France had been mediating the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict since the signing of the volatile cease-fire agreement in 1994. The Minsk Group’s efforts resulted in no progress as Armenia refused to abide by the UN Security Council resolutions.
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