By Vafa Ismayilova
The Azerbaijani parliament has turned to the government urging it to appeal to the OSCE leadership over the withdrawal of France’s mandate as the co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, Trend reported.
The parliament voiced this position after the adoption by the French Senate of a draft resolution on the recognition of the self-styled entity in Nagorno-Karabakh on November 25.
In its appeal, the parliament called on the government to reconsider Azerbaijan’s existing political relations with France, which through its position and statements over the past months questioned its neutrality. The parliament also urged the government to thoroughly analyze economic ties with France and take appropriate measures.
Azerbaijani MPs also issued a statement condemning the adoption of the abovementioned resolution.
In its statement, the Azerbaijani parliament emphasized the French Senate’s step was “a gross violation of the basic norms and principles of international law”.
On November 18, at the Presidium of the French Senate, a group of senators influenced by the Armenian diaspora presented draft resolution No 145 "On the need to recognize the 'Nagorno-Karabakh Republic', which was discussed and adopted on November 25.
French ambassador to Azerbaijan Zacharie Gross said that his government’s position on Nagorno-Karabakh is unchanged and that France does not recognize the self-styled Nagorno-Karabakh republic.
“The Senate resolution is not binding. Only dialogue between the parties can solve the conflict. Since the government's position is entirely unchanged, I see no reason why French-Azerbaijani relations would be impacted,” he 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 stressed that France, as a country - co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, stands for the implementation of the ceasefire agreement in the region.
The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry issued a statement describing the adoption of the resolution as a provocation. Presidential aide Hikmat Haiyev noted that the resolution was nothing but a piece of paper for Azerbaijan. About 50 political parties operating in the country urged an end to France’s mediation efforts as the co-chair in the OSCE Minsk Group due to its biased stance on Azerbaijan.
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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