France's desire to take part in de-mining of Azerbaijan's lands - important, MP says [UPDATE]
France's intention to participate in de-mining of the liberated territories is an important initiative, Milli Majlis (parliament) deputy head of the working group on inter-parliamentary Azerbaijan-France relations Soltan Mammadov said at a plenary session of the parliament, Trend reports.
“Despite France's unconstructive position during the second Karabakh war today its intention to participate in the process of de-mining of the liberated territories of Azerbaijan is an important initiative in terms of speeding up the process of returning former IDPs to their homes, ensuring peace and stability in the region,” Mammadov said.
Mammadov said that a delegation of the French National Commission for the Elimination of Antipersonnel Mines, which included its chairman, a representative of the Foreign Ministry and a deputy of the National Assembly (lower house of parliament), arrived in Azerbaijan on October 14.
According to Mammadov, the purpose of the visit is to discuss with the relevant state structures of Azerbaijan a plan of measures in the field of support for de-mining operations, assistance to victims of mines, educational projects on the mine threat.
Mammadov added that in this regard, a Memorandum of Understanding is expected to be signed with the Azerbaijan Mine Action Agency, within the framework of which the French National Commission allocated financial assistance in the amount of 500,000 euros for the implementation of these measures this year.
He noted that a number of issues were discussed at the meeting held between the members of the Working Group on Interparliamentary Relations, Azerbaijan-France, with the participation of the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Defense, Security and Combating Corruption, Ziyafet Asgarov.
In particular, the Secretary General of the Commission stressed that from 2022, when France will preside over the EU, within the framework of the Ottawa Convention on the Prohibition of Antipersonnel Mines a great deal of work has been carried out to clear the territories from mines, within the framework of which Azerbaijan will receive great support.
“France also intends to provide support in the rehabilitation of victims of mine explosions. We discussed the main directions of work to be carried out in this area with the French Ambassador to Azerbaijan Zachary Gross,” Mammadov said.
The MP also noted that these projects, which will be implemented, show the great importance France attaches to ensuring the security of people in the liberated territories, establishing stability and peace in the region.
"This can also be regarded as a friendly gesture of France. The restoration of the liberated territories is the most important issue for Azerbaijani people and the Azerbaijani state. I believe that this cooperation will form a very good basis for the beginning of a new stage in the development of Azerbaijani-French relations," he said.
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