Azerbaijan to present note of protest to France (UPDATE)
Details added (first version posted on 17:42)
Baku, Azerbaijan, April 4
The Azerbaijani embassy in France will send the note of protest to the French Foreign Ministry, Spokesman for the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Hikmat Hajiyev told Trend April 4.
He added that the note of protest will be sent in connection with the visit of Ashot Gulyan, who presented himself as a representative of the illegal regime created by the Armenian Armed Forces in the occupied Azerbaijani territories, to France, one of the co-chair countries of the OSCE Minsk Group.
"We regret to note that although the entry of Gulyan, the resident of Azerbaijan’s Khankendi city using the diplomatic passport of Armenia, into the territory of the EU countries, violates the agreement on simplification of the visa regime and readmission between Armenia and the EU, the French side has not taken any measures to prevent this visit,” Hajiyev said.
“The systematic nature of such visits and the turning of the territory of France into a place of propaganda for an illegal regime raises a question about France's impartiality as a co-chair country and puts the credibility and reliability of France at the international level and in the Azerbaijani public under question," he said.
“According to the general code of the French self-government bodies, as well as the letter dated July 2, 2015 of the Foreign Ministry and the Interior Ministry sent to the plenipotentiary representatives of the government, all international relations of local self-government bodies must comply with international obligations undertaken by France, and local self-government bodies are not authorized to sign any agreement with one or another structure not recognized by the French government,” he said.
“The central government of France has recently demonstrated a tough position when the questions in connection with Corsica arose, but the creation of an opportunity by France to encourage the illegal separatist regime created in the occupied Azerbaijani territories on its territory is regarded as another example of double standards,” Hajiyev said.
He said that Azerbaijan calls upon France, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, to observe its obligations, norms and principles of international law and suppress such actions directed against Azerbaijan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
"From now on, the Azerbaijani side will proceed from the principle of reciprocity in relations with France," Hajiyev said.
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.