Azerbaijanis seek steps by Macron against Pecresse's illegal Karabakh visit
By Vugar Khalilov
Representatives of the Azerbaijani public have turned to President Emmanuel Macron, seeking necessary measures over the illegal visit to Karabakh of a few French politicians, including presidential candidate Valérie Pécresse, Azertag has reported.
In the statement published on Azertag on January 18, members of the public said: “Mr President, considering the requirements of the French national legislation, we ask you to take the necessary measures to prevent such illegal visits and to prevent the recurrence of such cases in the future.”
The appeal recalled that the Republican Party presidential candidate in France, President of the Ile-de-France region Valérie Pécresse, accompanied by Michel Barnier and Bruno Retailleau, illegally and secretly crossed Azerbaijan’s state borders recognized by the international community, including France, and visited Khankandi city in Azerbaijan’s Karabakh region on December 22, 2021.
This illegal visit grossly violates the laws of the civilized world, it stressed.
Steps are being taken to sign a peace agreement between Azerbaijan and Armenia, normalize relations and strengthen trust between the two peoples. Pécresse’s illegal visit and the attempt to turn this visit into an election propaganda tool are aimed at deliberately aggravating the situation and undermining the peace efforts in the region, which has just emerged from the war and where construction work is being carried out, the appeal noted.
Strongly condemning Pécresse's “irresponsible step”, the statement underlined that “no internal election campaign can justify such behavior”.
They stressed that Pecresse and some of her advisers, as well as representatives of the Armenian diaspora, are trying to represent the conflict as a religious one in the press and on social media by voicing degrading views against the state and people of Azerbaijan, which is a clear call for hatred against the Azerbaijani people.
In a country like France, where the tradition of human values and the separation of religion from politics form the cornerstone of the state, the inculcation of open hatred against a people does not fit into any moral and universal values. Their attempts to decorate the conflict with religious elements can be seen as a crusade, the appeal stressed.
It added that Percesse is free to go anywhere and to run a political campaign in France or in the European Union. However, in order to come to Azerbaijan, she had to apply to the relevant Azerbaijani authorities and get permission to enter the country.
Her secret entry into Azerbaijan’s territory without such permission grossly violates both Azerbaijani and French national legislation, as well as international and bilateral obligations, it was underlined.
As a co-chairing state of the OSCE Minsk Group established to resolve the 28-year-old conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, France has an obligation to maintain neutrality between the parties and to support peace efforts. France and Azerbaijan recognize each other's international borders, both bilaterally and multilaterally, reaffirm mutual respect for their territorial integrity and develop friendly relations.
It was noted that the agreement signed between the two countries on December 20, 1993, serves to develop friendship and cooperation and imposes obligations on both sides in line with the principles and norms of international law.
Moreover, according to the French constitution adopted in 1958, foreign policy issues are the exclusive prerogative of the central government. Territorial units - municipalities, departments, regions - cannot be involved in the foreign policy of the state and cannot infringe on its international obligations (Articles L.1115-1 and subsequent articles of the General Code of Territorial Units).
The appeal was signed by a number of Azerbaijani MPs, lawyers, human rights defenders, and NGO leaders.
It should be noted that in an interview with 12 local TV channels on January 12, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said that Pécresse would not have been permitted to leave the country, had Baku been informed about her illegal trip.
It was a covert trip, organised in contravention of Azerbaijani and international legislation, and Baku reacted appropriately by sending a note of protest to the French embassy.
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