Azerbaijan urges France to take tough measures against illegal visits to occupied lands
Baku, Azerbaijan, May 11
Azerbaijan has urged the French Foreign Ministry to take tough measures in connection with illegal visits to the occupied territories, Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesman Hikmet Hajiyev told Trend on May 11.
He stressed that since 2013, certain circles of the Armenian lobby in France have signed illegal documents under a pretext of "sister cities" between the occupied cities of Azerbaijan and the cities and towns of France, and are trying to use such steps to promote the illegal regime.
Hajiyev said that thanks to the joint work carried out by the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry and the Azerbaijani Embassy in France with relevant structures of that country, the illegal "charter" (la Charte d’amitié entre Alfortville et Berdzor), signed in 2017 between Alfortville, a big city of Île-de-France region, and the occupied Lachin city of Azerbaijan was annulled.
"On June 30, 2017, the Municipality Council of Alfortville made a decision to sign an illegal "charter". The Prefect of the Val-de-Marne Department, to which Alfortville belongs, filed a suit at the Municipality Council over the voluntary cancellation of the decision. However, this claim remained unanswered. There was an appeal to a court by the Val-de-Marne Department on Nov. 17, 2017 to annul the illegally signed "charter". Despite this, on Nov. 20, based on the decision of the Municipality Council, the Mayor of Alfortville signed the illegal "charter"," Hajiyev said.
He said the first hearing was held on March 8, 2018, and in connection with violations of Article L1115-1 of the General Code on Local Self-Government Bodies (on compliance of the agreement signed by the abovementioned body with the international obligations of France), the state prosecutor demanded to cancel the "charter".
"As a result, on April 12, 2018, the Municipality Council of Alfortville, not waiting for a court decision, was forced to annul its June 30, 2017 decision on signing the illegal "charter"."
Seven members of the Alfortville Municipality Council are Armenians, he added.
Hajiyev said that in connection with cancellation of the decision, Mayor of Alfortville Michel Gerchinovitz stated: "On April 12, I asked the Municipal Council to cancel the decision with a view to stop the persecution. Otherwise this decision would be a judicial act that harms "Artsakh diplomacy"."
"We welcome the decision of the Prefect of the Val-de-Marne Department to appeal to the court to cancel the illegal "charter" and we look forward to similar steps from the central bodies of the executive branch in France and the prefects to annul other illegal "charters"," Hajiyev said. "We also call on the French Foreign Ministry and other responsible structures of that country to take strict measures to curb all illegal activities of local governments in France related to the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, including organization of illegal visits to these areas by local self-government bodies in France in an systematic way."
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.