Former French ambassador slams senator’s Nagorno-Karabakh remarks

Former French ambassador slams senator’s Nagorno-Karabakh remarks

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A former French diplomat and an academic criticized a French senator for exploiting the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh and distorting the truth about the issue.

Former French ambassador to Israel, the United Nations and the U.S. Gerard Araud and French Institute for International and Strategic Affairs (IRIS) Deputy Director-General Didier Billion criticized Senator Valerie Boyer for his recent remarks about recognizing Nagorno-Karabakh and requesting sanctions against Turkey and Azerbaijan, Anadolu Agency (AA) reported Monday.

“The French Senate is proud to recognize Nagorno-Karabakh and demand sanctions against Turkey and Azerbaijan,” the senator said on Twitter.

In response to Didier, Araud said the senate’s decision has disqualified France as a mediator in international conflicts, as he called it a “decision against national interests.”

Thanking Araud for his remarks, Billion said the senate’s decision was a big mistake, ignorance of international law, distortion of facts and “unfortunately, an acknowledgment of weakness.”

France's adoption of a resolution to recognize the independence of the Nagorno-Karabakh region drew heavy criticism from both Ankara and Baku for ignoring international law as well as U.N. decisions.

The symbolic resolution does not mean the French government will recognize a sovereign Nagorno-Karabakh but sends a message of support to France’s large Armenian community. No country recognizes the region – which Armenia and Azerbaijan have been at odds over for decades – as independent.

The French resolution calls on the government to “recognize the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and use this recognition as an instrument of negotiations for the establishment of a sustainable peace.” It also calls on the government to pursue a tougher European response toward Turkey, which has supported Azerbaijan in the conflict.

Fresh clashes erupted on Sept. 27 continuing for 44 days, throughout which Baku liberated several cities and nearly 300 of its settlements and villages from the Armenian occupation.

On Nov. 10, the two countries signed a Russia-brokered deal to end fighting and work toward a comprehensive solution.

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