France respects Azerbaijanâ€™s territorial integrity, says senator
- 13 March 2017
The French government respects the territorial integrity and internationally recognized borders of Azerbaijan, said André Reichardt, president of the France-Caucasus Friendship Group in the French Senate.
Reichardt made the remarks addressing a press conference held in the Azerbaijani Parliament March 13, APA reported.
The senator criticized the illegal visits of his some French colleagues to the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, calling for respect to Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized borders.
“The French government's position is that territorial integrity of each state, including Azerbaijan is inviolable, and it must be respected,” he stressed.
Reichardt added that during the visit to Azerbaijan the French delegation visited the line of contact between Armenian and Azerbaijani troops.
“We are seriously concerned over the current situation on the line of contact and support an early resolution to the [Nagorno-Karabakh] conflict,” said the senator.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict entered its modern phase when the Armenian SRR made territorial claims against the Azerbaijani SSR in 1988.
A fierce war broke out between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. As a result of the war, Armenian armed forces occupied some 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory which includes Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts (Lachin, Kalbajar, Aghdam, Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Gubadli and Zangilan), and over a million Azerbaijanis became refugees and internally displaced people.
The military operations finally came to an end when Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in Bishkek in 1994.
Dealing with the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the OSCE Minsk Group, which was created after the meeting of the CSCE (OSCE after the Budapest summit held in Dec.1994) Ministerial Council in Helsinki on 24 March 1992. The Group’s members include Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, the United States, France, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Belarus, Finland and Sweden.
Besides, the OSCE Minsk Group has a co-chairmanship institution, comprised of Russian, the US and French co-chairs, which began operating in 1996.
Resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884 of the UN Security Council, which were passed in short intervals in 1993, and other resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly, PACE, OSCE, OIC, and other organizations require Armenia to unconditionally withdraw its troops from Nagorno-Karabakh.