Speaker: Azerbaijan to seek legal means to remove France from OSCE Minsk Group
Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 1 / Trend M. Aliyev /
France has lost the moral, rather than the legal right to the co-chairmanship of the OSCE Minsk Group, speaker Oktay Asadov said at a meeting of the Azerbaijani Parliament on Wednesday.
"We must determine the legal means of removing France from the co-chairmanship of the OSCE Minsk Group," he said. "This issue does not depend on our wishes."
MPs voiced the initiative to exclude France from the OSCE Minsk Group to resolve the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict as a sign of protest against the law criminalising the denial of the so-called "Armenian genocide" adopted by France.
On Jan.23, after eight hours of discussion, the Senate (upper chamber of the French parliament) voted for adoption of the law criminalising denial of the so called "Armenian genocide". Some 127 senators voted for, while 86 were against.
The bill demands about a year's imprisonment and a fine of 45,000 euros for denial of the so-called "Armenian genocide".
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 per cent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven 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 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.