France to continue active participation in peaceful conflict settlements in S. Caucasus
Baku, Azerbaijan, May 29
France will continue to actively participate in the peaceful settlement of the conflicts in the South Caucasus region, France's President Francois Hollande said.
He made the remarks in his congratulatory letter addressed to the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on the occasion of Azerbaijan's Republic Day marked on May 28.
"I am pleased to congratulate You and the people of Azerbaijan on the country's National Holiday - the Republic Day. Once again, I express my sincere gratitude for the high level of hospitality extended during my recent visit to Baku. I hope that Your country will continue its development towards modernization and prosperity," Hollande said, adding in the letter that the visit left a deep impression on him regarding the changes that happened in Azerbaijan in 20 years.
Hollande stressed in his letter that Azerbaijan's chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, will create opportunities for the country to demonstrate the level of its commitment to the values championed by this organization.
"We have managed to strengthen the friendship and cooperation in order to enhance the true partnership between our countries. As was emphasized in the course of our conversation during my visit, I wish this cooperation to continue with the further deepening and diversification of certain projects, especially those in the sphere of economy, science and higher education," the French president said in his letter.
The congratulatory letter further highlights that France will continue its active participation in the peaceful settlement of the conflicts in South Caucasus.
France's President Francois Hollande paid an official visit to Azerbaijan on May 12, 2014, and touched upon the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
"Our goal is to find a solution to this conflict," he said during his visit to Azerbaijan.
"France is the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing country. It has been searching for different ways on sustainable and final settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict for a long time. There are issues hampering the conflict settlement."
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 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.