Interview of Azerbaijani Ambassador to France Rahman Mustafayev with APA
– As it is known, Armenian radicals attacked the building of the Azerbaijani Embassy in Paris last day. Has the Embassy appealed to law-enforcement bodies of France regarding the provision of security officially earlier?
– Let me note that this is not the first fact that the Azerbaijani embassy in France is subjected to such provocations and attacks. Since 2017, we raised issues in front of the French government at all levels regarding the safety that the Azerbaijani embassy and Azerbaijan Culture Center are not protected. But there is a stationary post in front of the French Embassy in Baku for a long time. Although we wanted the establishment of such a post, since 2017, this issue has been neglected. No serious steps were taken, and no serious reaction was made in connection with this issue. It was noted always to us that "do not worry, if something happens, there is a mobile post in the arrondissement where the embassy is located, there's police car around belonging to the security agencies and if anything happens, just call the mobile post and they'll come and it'll be no problem." In 2020, during the Patriotic war, this issue happened again, members of the Armenian diaspora repeatedly came in front of the Embassy and damaged the embassy building. As I mentioned, we have raised this issue also at that time and received the same answer. But, It has already become a tradition. We have written up to about 50 notes and letters to the French side- Ministries of Internal and Foreign Affairs, police department.
– When did you appeal on strengthening security measures last time?
– On August 17, we sent another written note. Because after the incident occurred in the Azerbaijani embassy in London, we once again brought to the attention of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs that there were attacks against the embassy, and these were not only in London but also in France. Mail of our embassy received threatening letters. All these cases are seen and we explained the situation with the facts to the French side regarding the radical groups in France, Dashnaktsutyun and ASALA. These are reflected in our written notes. The previous answer was responded to our note as well: “Do not worry, there is a mobile post in that area, in case of need you would appeal them”. However, unfortunately, the same situation was experienced again. The rally started at 14:20 local time, on September 18, and up to 150 representatives of the Armenian diaspora coming in front of the embassy building began to commit acts of violence. We called the police and the police car came to the scene only at 14:50.
During yesterday’s incident, the lock and door of the embassy were broken, and eggs and stones were thrown at the building, windows, and balcony of the embassy, in short, the building of the embassy was damaged. We were subjected to all this for 30 minutes. And I want to note that although the police came, they did not play an actual role in the prevention of the incident.
– Are there any injured people among the embassy employees?
– There are no injured among the employees of the embassy. Although there was an attempt to enter the embassy building, they did not achieve it. I want to remember that yesterday was Sunday. The embassy officer on duty resisted this attempt and closed the door. The protestors stayed in the area for an hour and were forced to leave after their efforts failed.
– Is there any reaction to the issue from the French side?
– At present, the lawyers of the embassy are taking appropriate legal measures to bring the culprits to justice and receive compensation for the damage. After the incident, the court clerk, and the person investigating the facts, came from the prefecture. He collected facts about the damage to the embassy building, took photos, and recorded facts about the consequences of the incident. We will file a lawsuit for the legal responsibility of the Armenian terrorist organization that committed this act of vandalism. We will also try for either this organization or the French government will compensate us for the damage caused.
Besides, we will raise the issue of ensuring the security of the embassy before the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Internal Affairs.