France to continue to contribute to Karabakh conflict’s settlement – Azerbaijan’s FM (PHOTO)
Baku, Azerbaijan, May 27
By Ali Mustafayev – Trend:
France, as co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, will continue to contribute to the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, said Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov at a joint press conference with French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drean in Baku May 27.
“We adhere to the strategy of resolving the conflict peacefully, and I am sure that France as co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group will continue to help resolve this situation”, he said.
The minister said that France has played an important role in the history of independent Azerbaijan and present cooperation between the two countries is actively developing in several priority areas.
“We believe in the fruitfulness of France's participation in the economic, transport, energy projects of Azerbaijan. This is the first visit of the delegation of the French Foreign Ministry to Azerbaijan since 1997, and I hope these visits will be more”, Mammadyarov said.
The sides also discussed issues of cooperation between Azerbaijan and the EU.
“I asked my French counterpart to assist us in the process of negotiations on signing a new partnership agreement between Azerbaijan and the EU”, the foreign minister added.
He further recalled that on May 27 President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of France Emmanuel Macron had a two-hour telephone conversation, during which they discussed topical issues of bilateral cooperation.
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 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.