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Baku Denounces French Macron’s Accusations Against Azerbaijan

By Gunay Hajiyeva February 24, 2024


The Foreign Ministry of Azerbaijan / AZERTAC

The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry has issued a statement denouncing comments made by French President Emmanuel Macron during a press conference with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in Paris.

According to the ministry, President Macron made unfounded accusations against Azerbaijan concerning human rights and territorial integrity, showing a unilateral support for Armenia.

The statement further accused Macron of disregarding the historical context of Armenian occupation of Azerbaijani territories and ethnic cleansing campaign conducted by Armenia against Azerbaijanis.

“As a country, which has never mentioned the rights of Azerbaijanis violated for nearly 30 years, displaced from their territories, and subjected to mass massacres, French side’s statement about the rights and security of Armenians left the territories of Azerbaijan at their own will and without any violence, is completely inappropriate,” the ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

In its statement, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry criticized France for its longstanding silence regarding Armenia’s occupation of Azerbaijani territories, a conflict that has persisted for nearly three decades. The ministry also accused France of maintaining its biased position, ignoring Armenia’s continuing occupation of eight Azerbaijani villages in the Gazakh district and Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, located in the far west of Azerbaijan.

According to the ministry, “it is unacceptable to blame Azerbaijan for taking a disproportionate response, while refraining from criticizing Armenia, who took unprovoked actions disrupting the stable situation that lasted for almost 5 months,” and such biased approaches should be stopped.

“We once again declare that France’s insidious policy of creating new tension in the region, and hindering peace and stability will not yield any results,” the Foreign Ministry of Azerbaijan concluded its statement.  

In a joint press briefing with PM Pashinyan in Paris on Wednesday, President Macron said France would continue to support Armenia and provide arms to Yerevan. He is convinced that the recent events on the border of Armenia and Azerbaijan indicate there is a “risk of escalation”.

Moreover, the French president called on Azerbaijan to solve “all ambiguities” regarding respect for the territorial integrity of Armenia. He also argued that Azerbaijan must ensure the safe and rapid return of ethnic Armenians who left the Karabakh region.

France has been supplying military hardware to Armenia, including the French-made “Bastion” multi-purpose armored personnel carriers and components of the French “ARQUUS” brand for “Bastion” under the contracts signed “for expanding bilateral cooperation” in 2023. The “Mistral” short-range surface-to-air missiles and three radar systems are also reportedly on the export list.

Following months of tranquility, the situation on the conditional Armenia-Azerbaijan border escalated on February 13 specifically in the direction of the Zangilan district after a sniper wounded an Azerbaijani serviceman.

The State Border Service of Azerbaijan took retaliatory measures to push back the offensive. As a result, an Armenian military post, where the firing point was stationed, were neutralized.

Moreover, on February 12 and 16, Azerbaijani army positions in the country’s Tovuz and Dashkasan districts were targeted by the Armenian military.

However, the Armenian side allegedly accused the Azerbaijani troops of the assaults.

In January, the members of the Azerbaijani parliament blamed France for undermining mutual confidence-building measures and peace efforts between Azerbaijan and Armenia by arming the latter and encouraging Armenian revanchists to wage a new war.

They recalled the unproductive OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmanship of France during the Karabakh conflict, Paris’s indifference to the fate of one million Azerbaijani internally displaced persons and refugees for 30 years, the provocative activities that question the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, and the efforts of the French authorities to ignite racial hatred inside the country by pitting the ethnic Armenian residents and Azerbaijanis against each other.