Turkish FM: Turkey supports France’s exclusion from the OSCE Minsk Group
Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan.28 / Trend A.Taghiyeva /
Turkey supports exclusion of France from the co-chairmansip of the OSCE Minsk Group, since having adopted law criminalizing denial of the so-called "Armenian genocide" Paris lost its objectivity, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said with an interview to CNN Turk.
"Mr Sarkozy during his visit to the South Caucasus had been in Armenia for 2 days while in Azerbaijan he spent just few hours. It is evidence of his bias," Mr Davutoglu said.
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 7 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 the 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.
The minister also added if France remains co-chair of the OSCE Minsk group Turkey also should become a co-chair of this group.
Mr Davutoglu said the French co-chairmanship in this group is wrong as this country lost its neutrality in this issue.
After eight hours of discussion, the Senate (upper chamber of the French parliament) voted for adoption of the law criminalising denial of the so called "Armenian genocide". Some 127 senators voted for, while 86 against.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey was preparing new sanctions against France.
The Lower House of the French Parliament adopted a bill criminalising the denial of the so-called "Armenian genocide" on Dec.22, 2011
The bill demands about a year's imprisonment and a fine of 45,000 euros for denial of the so-called "Armenian genocide".
MPs from the French President's Union for Popular Movement (UMP) party which has the parliamentary majority, proposed the bill which aims at criminalising denial of the so-called "Armenian genocide" to the legislative committee of the National Assembly in early December.
Armenia and the Armenian lobby claim that the predecessor of the Turkey - Ottoman Empire had committed the 1915 genocide against the Armenians living in Anadolu, and achieved recognition of the "Armenian Genocide" by the parliaments of several countries.