France committed to ongoing negotiations to settle Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

By: Sara Rajabova

Azerbaijani and French high-ranking officials have discussed the settlement process of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Elmar Mammadyarov, Azerbaijan`s foreign minister met with Jacques Audibert, diplomatic adviser to the French president at the Elysee Palace on May 1 as part of his working visit to France, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry reported.

During the meeting, which took place a couple of days after the visit of French President Francois Hollande to Azerbaijan, the sides exchanged wide views on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

They also discussed the latest initiative by France in this regard and touched upon the current status of Azerbaijan-France relations and its prospects.

France reiterated the high importance it attached to its relations with Azerbaijan adding that it remains committed to the ongoing negotiation process within the OSCE Minsk Group. The French officials said President Hollande will continue to put particular emphasis on this issue.

France, alongside the U.S. and Russia, is one of the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, engaged in mediating the peace negotiations in between Azerbaijan and Armenia in view of settling the long-standing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict that emerged after Armenia’s illegitimately laid territorial claims against Azerbaijan.

Mammadyarov, for his part, hailed the efforts of France’s leadership, noting that the presence of Armenian armed forces in Azerbaijan’s occupied territories constitutes a major problem to the peace process.

He reiterated that a just and long lasting resolution of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict is only possible under the principles of inviolability of internationally recognized borders of states, territorial integrity, sovereignty and protection of political independence.

Armenia occupied over 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions, after laying territorial claims against its South Caucasus neighbor in the 1990s. The dispute led to a violent and bloody armed conflict. Long-standing efforts by U.S, Russian and French mediators have been largely fruitless so far.

As a result of the military aggression of Armenia, over 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed, 4,866 were reported missing, almost 100,000 were injured, and 50,000 were disabled.

The UN Security Council has passed four resolutions calling on Armenian to withdraw from Azerbaijan territory, but Yerevan has yet to comply.

SOURCE: Azer News