Politics, World, Europe

Azerbaijan condemns French president's claims of Azerbaijani, Turkish refusal to take part in meeting on Karabakh

Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry says Baku, Ankara did not take part in meeting in Granada because of 'particular opposition of France to Türkiye’s participation'

Elena Teslova  | 06.10.2023 - Update : 07.10.2023
Azerbaijan condemns French president's claims of Azerbaijani, Turkish refusal to take part in meeting on Karabakh


Azerbaijan on Friday condemned allegations by France’s president that Türkiye and Azerbaijan refused to take part in a meeting in Spain this week on recent events in the southern Caucasus region of Karabakh.

"Allegations of the French President (Emmanuel Macron) on the refusal of Azerbaijan and Türkiye to participate in the (European Political Community) Granada meeting is a clear case of hypocrisy. The participants of this event are well aware of the particular opposition of France to Türkiye’s participation in the meeting," Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“The French president spreading false information on this issue is improper behavior for the head of state," the statement added.

The ministry also called France’s attempts to lecture Azerbaijan on the issue of the rights of minorities "completely unacceptable."

Azerbaijan is "a country setting an example with its multicultural and multiethnic values, where many ethnicities live in peace and prosperity," while France "is being remembered by its genocide policy" and remains the only EU member state which did not join the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, it said.

"How France, which is now talking about 'fair mediation,' mediated during the period of 23 years is well-known,” it said, referring to France’s membership in the Minsk Group, a group of countries meant to help solve the Karabakh issue during nearly 30 years of Armenian occupation, but which most observers called ineffective.

“The intentions of France are obvious when it states (it is) being a neutral mediator while ignoring the massacres of Azerbaijanis, their livelihood when they became Internally Displaced Persons and refugees by use of force, disregarding the four UN Security Council resolutions, as well as the razing of cities and villages to the ground, and looking the other way while Armenia, contrary to its obligations, failed to withdraw its armed forces from the territory of Azerbaijan and continued its military and political provocations," said the ministry.

France's 'blind eye' to Armenian occupation

The ministry called "ridiculous" France's accusation that Azerbaijan "occupied" 150 square kilometers (58 square miles) of the territory of Armenia, saying Paris had been turning a blind eye to the Armenian occupation of Karabakh, about 20% of the territory of Azerbaijan, for 30 years.

"Azerbaijan has not occupied the territory of any country, and the assertion that the territories on which the forces of Azerbaijan are deployed on the undelimited border belong to Armenia is completely illogical," it stressed.

The ministry said Azerbaijan's right to end the occupation of its territories both diplomatically and militarily has always existed "within the scope of the UN Charter and norms and principles of international law."

"It was the mediation efforts involving France failing to yield results and the failure to prevent Armenia's aggressive policy that led Azerbaijan to liberate its lands militarily," it said, referring to Baku’s moves since fall 2020.

The ministry stressed that through the negotiating process Azerbaijan repeatedly indicated the necessity "to remove the Armenian armed forces ... to abolish the puppet regime" in Karabakh, referring to a self-styled unrecognized “state” which collapsed last month.

"In this regard, claims of the French president on Azerbaijan’s alleged promise to not use force against the illegal separatist regime are baseless. If France directed Armenia on the right path instead of making false promises, there would be no need to resolve the threat against Azerbaijan by force, and the issue would have been solved peacefully," it said.

The ministry stressed that "it is pointless and unacceptable to speak with Azerbaijan in the language of pressure."

"It would be more beneficial for France to put an end to its insidious policy aimed at supporting and arming aggressive Armenia in our region, hindering peace and stability in the region, instead of issuing such irresponsible statements," it said.

The ministry said Azerbaijan is taking measures for the reintegration of its Armenian residents and remains the most interested party in building peace in the region on the basis of mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity with Armenia.

Karabakh conflict

In the fall of 2020, with Türkiye lending its support, in 44 days of clashes Azerbaijan liberated from Armenian occupation numerous settlements in Karabakh, a region internationally recognized as Azerbaijani territory. The war ended with a Russia-brokered cease-fire.

The Armenian occupation dated back from 1991, or nearly 30 years,

This Sept. 19, the Azerbaijani army initiated anti-terrorism measures in Karabakh. After 24 hours of the measures, illegal Armenian armed forces in Karabakh surrendered.

Azerbaijan, having now established full sovereignty in the Karabakh region, has called on the Armenian population to become part of Azerbaijani society.

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