France doesn’t support Nagorno-Karabakh separatist regime – ambassador (UPDATE)
Details added (first version posted on 16:49)
Baku, Azerbaijan, May 27
By Jamila Aliyeva - Trend:
France doesn't support the separatist regime of Nagorno-Karabakh, and at the same time, Paris can't control the visits of this regime's representatives to France, the French ambassador to Azerbaijan, Pascal Monnier told reporters May 27.
"I received a note of protest from the deputy foreign minister of Azerbaijan, Khalaf Khalafov and immediately handed it over to my country," he said.
As the diplomat said, in recent years, France has taken many steps to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
"It is needed to keep this in mind," he added. "I understand that Azerbaijan is anxious over the visit of Bako Sahakyan [the head of the separatist regime of Nagorno-Karabakh] to France. He held meetings there with the mayors of cities, and this causes the discontent of Azerbaijan," said the ambassador.
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.
Earlier the spokesman of Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry, Hikmat Hajiyev told Trend that in this regard the deputy foreign minister of Azerbaijan, Khalaf Khalafov summoned the French ambassador to Azerbaijan, Pascal Monnier to the Foreign Ministry, where the ambassador 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 "parliamentary election" of the separatist regime of Nagorno-Karabakh, contradict to the spirit of developing friendly and partnership relations between Azerbaijan and France, 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," Hajiyev told Trend.
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.