Azerbaijan sends protest note to France (UPDATE)
Details added (first version posted on 16:34)
Baku, Azerbaijan, May 20
By Seba Aghayeva - Trend:
Azerbaijan sent on May 20 a protest note to France.
The note was issued in connection with a visit of the head of the separatist regime of Nagorno-Karabakh to France.
The spokesman of Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry, Hikmat Hajiyev told Trend May 20 that in connection with the May 17-18 visit to France by the representatives of the separatist regime of Nagorno-Karabakh, created in Azerbaijan's territories occupied by Armenia, the Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Khalaf Khalafov summoned the French Ambassador to Azerbaijan Pascal Monnier to the ministry, where he was handed a note.
Khalafov at the meeting said such facts, as well as the participation of the members of the French Senate as "observers" at the "parliamentary" election held May 3 by the so-called regime of Nagorno-Karabakh, contradict the spirit of developing friendly and partnership relations between the two countries, and don't correspond to France's mandate of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair and harm the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict.
"The ambassador was informed that such cases are regarded as an indicator of double standards and negatively impact the current state of relations between Azerbaijan and France," said Hajiyev.
The ambassador promised to convey the note and the serious concern of Azerbaijan to the leadership of France.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the US are currently holding peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented the UN Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.