Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec.23 / Trend S. Agayeva /
Azerbaijan will hold a wait-and-see position before taking any steps in connection with the French National Assembly's decision to adopt a bill criminalizing denial of the so-called "Armenian Genocide", Azerbaijani Foreign Minister
Elmar Mammadyarov said at a press-conference on Friday.
"Adopting the bill with 10 percent of total number of MPs is not democratic and it cannot be regarded as fair result of the voting. Baku will wait for further developments on the adoption of the bill and believes that its final adoption is inadmissible," Mammadyarov said.
On Thursday, the French parliament adopted a bill criminalizing denial of the so-called "Armenian Genocide".
Some 45 out of 577 French MPs participated in the voting, 38 of which voted for, while 7 voted against the adoption of the bill.
The bill envisages about one year imprisonment and a fine worth 45,000 euros for denial of the so-called "Armenian genocide".
Mammadyarov said if France held a fair position, it would not stir up ages-old history, thus aggravating the situation in the region. "If France wants to hold a fair position, then it must voice its position on the issue of Azerbaijan's occupied territories, on the Khojaly tragedy and availability of about one million Azerbaijani refugees and IDPs. Such an attitude by France, as co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, is regrettable," Mammadyarov said.
Mammadyarov stressed that recently the French co-chairman Bernard Fassier during his visit to Azerbaijan and Armenia said the occupied territories are the biggest problem, and being in Yerevan he added that the Nagorno-Karabakh will remain as part of Azerbaijan.
"We consider this position is regarded as Paris's official position," he said.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and 7 surrounding districts.
Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France, and the U.S. - are currently holding the peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.