Azerbaijan called for France to be stripped of mediation role in Karabakh conflict


In response to the adopted on Nov. 25 to put Paris support behind Upper Karabakh's independence, Azerbaijani lawmakers demanded on Thursday be deprived of the mediation role to find a permanent solution to the decades-long conflict.

Azerbaijan's parliament called on Thursday for France to be stripped of its mediation role in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to punish the French Senate for adopting a resolution backing the region's independence.

The French resolution adopted on Nov. 25 followed a Russia-brokered ceasefire ending weeks of fighting in the mountain enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh. The ceasefire has been hailed as a victory in Azerbaijan, which recovered control of large swathes of territory illegally held by the occupying Armenian side since the early 1990s.

The Azeri parliament urged its government to review ties with Paris and to appeal to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe to revoke France's role as a co-chair of the so-called Minsk Group, set up in 1992 to mediate the conflict. The United States and Russia are the other co-chairs.

The Azeri foreign ministry said the French senate resolution, which has no legal force, had tainted France's reputation as a fair mediator and cast doubt on its neutrality. It described the resolution as a provocation and said it was biased.

France's foreign minister on Wednesday dismissed the senate resolution, saying it would contradict France's neutral position and pointing out that even Armenia itself had not recognised Nagorno-Karabakh.

France's population includes 400,000-600,000 people of Armenian origin. President Emmanuel Macron has been careful not to back a side in the conflict, but has faced criticism at home that he did not do enough to help Yerevan amid the fighting over the Upper Karabakh region.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan praised the resolution, describing it as a vital first step towards recognising the right of the region's people to self-determination.

Contact Us