France to again shelve friendship with Armenians after elections

France to again shelve friendship with Armenians after elections

Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr. 24

By Elmira Tariverdiyeva – Trend:

Just like a woman wears an evening dress on special occasions, French politicians wave the flag of friendship with Armenians every few years, and namely before the presidential elections.

Today, when there is almost no intrigue concerning the outcome of the French presidential election, one can predict only one thing – in May, when the dust settles and Emmanuel Macron comes to the Elysee Palace, the friendship issue will be shelved again. However, this does not mean that election promises and unscrupulous statements of French politicians will soon be erased from the memory of observers.

Although Emmanuel Macron, who is leading in the first round of the election and is likely to win in the second one, did not express his pro-Armenian views too vehemently, one cannot say he is Azerbaijan’s unconditional friend.

For example, one of his active supporters is Mayor of Lyon Gerard Collomb, with whom Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan met during his March visit to France and whom he gave a medal for the significant contribution to the strengthening of the Armenia-France relations.

Despite the fact that Macron was the most cautious of all presidential candidates, who did not make absurd statements concerning the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict during the electoral race, right now it would be wrong to speculate on how exactly he treats the responsibilities of France as an OSCE Minsk Group co-chair and the fair settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

In fact, all the presidential campaign slogans and promises are just words and who knows what policy towards the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will ardent armenophiles pursue if they win the office.

French presidential candidates needed the electorate and all four candidates used the armenophile rhetoric to some extent. In this case, there was no effect and campaign promises and slogans lost their exclusiveness.

On the whole, the Armenian diaspora in France had to understand that after the election, all those statements will be forgotten and the policies of Paris will develop in accordance with the national interests of France, not the interests of the Armenian diaspora.

France’s oil and gas interests, the charity projects Azerbaijan implements in that country and a good political dialogue are probably even more important for Paris than the Armenian diaspora of France.

After all, despite the large Armenian lobby in France, which has influence on the political life of Paris, Azerbaijan was and remains an important partner of that country.

So, after the second round of the presidential election that will reveal the name of France’s president, Baku will have to watch the actions of the new French government and see who fills important positions, particularly, who becomes the country’s foreign minister.

However, if France, as a Minsk Group co-chair, remains aloof and the new president keeps making advances to the Armenian diaspora in the Nagorno-Karabakh issue, Baku will have the right to demand expulsion of Paris from the Minsk Group and its replacement by a more adequate negotiator – for example Brussels, which will represent the EU as a whole.

---

Elmira Tariverdiyeva is the head of Trend Agency's Russian News Service

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