Baku, Azerbaijan, April 4
By Ilhama Isabalayeva -Trend:
French President Francois Hollande's visit to Azerbaijan is of great political importance, French ambassador to Azerbaijan Pascal Monnier told the media on April 4.
"The French president will visit Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia," he said.
"The main purpose of the visit is to support the settlement of the Armenian -Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict peacefully," he said. "I think that the conflict settlement will create more opportunities for both parties. This is a sovereign region, which may shape its future. We support peace and friendship between the countries of the region."
President Hollande will pay an official visit to Azerbaijan this year at the invitation of the Azerbaijani counterpart. There is no information about the exact date of the visit.
The French president confirmed his intention to visit Azerbaijan at a meeting with Azerbaijani ambassador to France Elchin Amirbayov.
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 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.
Translated by NH
Edited by CN