Hundreds of Europeans travelled to join proxy forces in Armenia during the Second Karabakh war and have largely gone unnoticed, the article published by New Eastern Europe news agency said, Trend reports.
Thus, the report said, Marc de Cacqueray-Valménier, leader of the violent neo-Nazi Zouaves Paris, an organisation closely related to the fascist group Action Française, travelled to Armenia during last year’s Second Karabakh War.
“As Cacqueray-Valménier travelled to the country in October 2020, he posted a picture of himself holding a Kalashnikov rifle and wearing a uniform with an Armenian flag and SS Totenkopf. At the same time, Armenia was welcoming extreme right parties from Europe such as the AfD (Alternative for Germany), whose representatives travelled to Karabakh with Armenian government officials and ruling party MPs,” the article said.
It is stated that Cacqueray-Valménier created a “Brigade of Foreign Volunteers” to fight for Armenia in the Second Karabakh War. The presence of these foreign mercenaries, including Kurds, only revealed Yerevan’s duplicity in accusing Turkey of allegedly bringing mercenaries to fight for Azerbaijan.
Cacqueray-Valmenier’s Zouaves Paris resembles another French neo-Nazi group, Génération Identitaire, which was banned in spring 2021 for violent attacks and racism. Violence at a December rally in support of the far-right populist nationalist Éric Zemmour was instigated by the “Zouaves” against the left-wing organisation SOS Racisme. The French justice ministry is currently hoping to ban the far right organisation Zouaves Paris.
Five days after the rally, Zemmour, who did not condemn the violence, travelled to Armenia for a four-day visit. He was accompanied by another extreme right ally, Movement for France President Philippe de Villiers. Zemmour’s visit to Armenia was designed to gain votes from the world’s third largest Armenian diaspora group, which involves half a million people in France.
The French Republican Party’s presidential candidate Valérie Pécresse, whose views do “not differ much from Zemmour”, visited Armenia this week with a similar anti-Turkish and anti-Azerbaijani message. Zemmour has successfully made immigration and Islam the two central issues for all presidential candidates, including President Emmanuel Macron, in the 2022 election campaign.
“Zemmour is clearly an opportunist, as he opposed legislation in France that penalised genocide denial, arguing that it was a threat to free speech. The legislation was also strongly supported by the Armenian community. Like all extreme right French politicians, Zemmour is, according to French Justice Minister Éric Dupond-Moretti, a Holocaust denier. This makes Zemmour an uncomfortable ally of Armenians, who have always claimed the genocide committed by the Ottoman Empire against them during the First World War is analogous to that of the Holocaust. Zemmour supports the rehabilitation of war-time French collaborator Marshall Philippe Pétain and claims that the collaborationist Vichy regime “saved” French Jews. Zemmour also believes the Nazis were less intolerant than Muslims,” the article added.
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