French National Assembly member Carole Bureau-Bonnard was left shocked, seeing destroyed villages, entire cities turned into ruins by Armenia, following her visit to liberated lands of Azerbaijan.
“The purpose of the visit was to see the liberated territories,” Bureau-Bonnard said in an exclusive interview with Trend.
“During the previous visit, the delegation had a meeting with head of the Working Group on the Azerbaijan-France inter-parliamentary relations, Soltan Mammadov, and speaker of the Azerbaijani parliament Sahiba Gafarova, it was impossible to visit the Azerbaijani lands destroyed by the Armenians due to bad weather,” the French MP said.
The French MP said that as part of the trip, she visited Aghdam, Fuzuli districts and held the meetings with the heads of the executive powers of these districts.
“I was shocked when I saw destroyed villages, whole cities turned into ruins,” the French MP said. “What is the reason for all this? The destruction of houses, mosques, samples of cultural heritage can't be justified. I don't understand this.”
“What we ourselves would feel in a similar situation? One thinks about the Azerbaijanis who were expelled from these territories,” she added. "They still live with the dream of returning to these lands.” the French MP said.
She added that even mosques were not left intact on those territories.
"As you know, the French people pay special attention to their cultural heritage. We are restoring churches, and the same situation is in Azerbaijan. The cooperation between France and Azerbaijan has been established in this sphere as well. So, after seeing this destruction, I was greatly shocked."
While commenting on the refusal of the Armenian side to give maps of minefields to Azerbaijan, she said it hinders the process of restoration work in the liberated territories.
“This is about people's lives,” the French MP said. “Until now, numerous people willing to visit their native lands, have died from mine explosions. These places should be restored and that takes time. Thus, people do not forget the past, but at the same time look to the future, and this is the goal. But this future must be built and for this people must be able to return to their homeland."
"I do not understand the reason for Armenia's refusal to give maps of minefields," said Bureau-Bonnard. “These maps should be provided to Azerbaijan. I told the Armenian ambassador to France about the importance of giving maps of minefields to Azerbaijan.”
Further speaking, she admitted that presently, there is some tension in the France-Azerbaijan relations.
“I think that both sides are trying to work together and in parallel negotiate with each other,” the French MP said. “As we all know, there is some tension in diplomatic and intergovernmental relations.”
“The French government is working to normalize these relations,” Bureau-Bonnard said. Secretary of State at the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne visited Azerbaijan in January 2021. However, this is not enough to make the relations as good as possible.”
The French MP went on to add that upon the return of the French delegation, the realities of Azerbaijan will be presented to the political circles of France.
“After our current visit, we will send a letter to the head of the National Assembly and talk about the Azerbaijan-France relations,” Bureau-Bonnard said. “In my opinion, this interview will also play a big role in terms of conveying certain messages.”
“I began to receive information about Azerbaijan, learn about its history, being represented in the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Assembly, that is, since 2017,” the French MP said.
“The French people talk more about Armenians, because, as you know, there are many Armenians in France,” Bureau-Bonnard said.
“Today we are talking about both countries in the context of the conflict,” the French MP said. “The main thing is to show what kind of country Azerbaijan is and not to be prejudiced in relation to any country.”
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