Azerbaijani Ambassador to France Elchin Amirbeyov: “France’s new administration told us that the official position of this country on Nagorno Karabakh conflict remains constant” – INTERVIEW

Azerbaijani Ambassador to France Elchin Amirbeyov: “France’s new administration told us that the official position of this country on Nagorno Karabakh conflict remains constant” – <font color=red>INTERVIEW </font>
# 25 June 2012 09:31 (UTC +04:00)
Paris. Fuad Gulubeyli – APA. “France-Azerbaijan relations are growing. French president paid first official visit to Azerbaijan last autumn and wide range of important issues were discussed during this visit”, Azerbaijani Ambassador to France Elchin Amirbeyov told APA.

The ambassador said that France is very important country in terms of its role in the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno Karabakh conflict, the most painful problem for Azerbaijan. “As one of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, France has been working for 15 years and every meeting, talks between the presidents is very important from this point of view. France is one the most important countries of the West Europe and the world. The country is a permanent member of the UN Security Council and plays important role in many processes of the world. France is an economically attractive country for Azerbaijan and Azerbaijan is also leading partner country for France in the South Caucasus in terms of its energy resources and economic potential. French ministry of culture organized “Pearls of France” art exhibition in Azerbaijan. Heydar Aliyev Foundation and First Lady of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva organized a series of exhibitions, concerts and other culture events in Paris. These events were very interesting for the French society. We are participating in NATO’s multinational peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan – ISAF and Azerbaijan is an important partner for France from this point of view as well. Azerbaijan has appointed its defense attaché to France recently and most probably the defense attaché will start his mission in France in the near future. I consider that recent domestic processes in France could positively contribute to the development of relations between the countries.”

The ambassador said that the results of presidential and parliamentary elections in the country can give only positive contribution to development of the relations between our countries: “All sides of the French political spectrum strive to continue the relations with Azerbaijan and in my opinion it will not make radical changes in the relations with such countries as Azerbaijan. France’s new administration told us that the official position of this country on the Nagorno Karabakh conflict remains constant and it doesn’t decrease its support and role in the peaceful settlement of the conflict within the OSCE Minsk Group and it intends to activate this role.”

Elchin Amirbeyov said that chairman of the France-Azerbaijan Friendship Group, which is operating in the National Assembly, Jean-Louis Dumont has been re-elected to the parliament. “Perhaps, he will lead this group again or will be replaced. Serious changes are expected in the composition of the friendship group, because we know that, the leftists have absolute majority in the parliament and I would like that the new group to be more active in the National Assembly.”

Commenting the visit of French Senators to the occupied territories of Azerbaijan the ambassador said that such cases are unacceptable for our country: “Our investigations showed that these persons visited the occupied territories under pressure of Armenians. Our embassy submitted his note both to the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Senate, as well as addressed each member of the Senate expressing official position of Azerbaijan. Such visits damages not only inter-parliamentary relations but also bilateral relations of our countries. These persons were included into the black list and they will never visit Azerbaijan.”

The ambassador commented on Paris meeting of Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers: “The direct contacts between the sides haven’t been realized for some time. The main reason is that Armenia didn’t observe its obligations and made negative changes in its position. Undoubtedly, a serious damage was caused to this negotiations process and Armenians challenged whole negotiations process withdrawing from their positions. Certainly, in such case, certain difficulties were created in holding any negotiations. It seems to me that the co-chair countries understand it very well, but their main goal is to prevent the stop of this process, because if this process stops and there is no perspective, the weapons work and we see its results. Both sides had losses and the situation in the region became more strained. In my opinion, neither America nor France and Russia want the further aggravated and strained situation. That’s why France initiated the Paris meeting of foreign ministers of both countries on June 18. The ministers decided that the co-chairs should visit the region again in the near future and make any new proposals taking into account the positions of both sides. Regarding the new proposals, of course, the absolutely new proposals are out of question, because these negotiations have been held for years and it is difficult to start from point zero and bring new proposals”.