Sahiba Gafarova commented on the biased and one-sided statements made by the French Senate in Armenia

# 22:14
24 April 2021

The Press and Public Relations Department of the Milli Majlis now reports the stern response of Chair of the Milli Majlis of the Azerbaijan Republic Sahiba Gafarova to the biased and one-sided statements made by the chairman of the Senate of France Gerard Larcher whilst in Armenia recently. The Chair of the Milli Majlis has said that the assertions of the French speaker in no way comply with the obligations assumed by his country as a Co-chair of the Minsk Group, the Press and Public Relations Department of the Milli Majli told APA.

Mrs Gafarova said, ‘On the one hand, the chairman of the Senate calls for a resumption of the work of the Minsk Group and a new momentum behind this work and, on the other, his declarations demonstrate a sheer pro-Armenian but also anti-Azerbaijani and anti-Turkish stance. The words of the chairman of the Senate about the erasure ‘of the traces of the Armenian culture’ in Turkey and ‘Artsakh’, uttered under the impression from an exhibition organised in Yerevan, are far from being politically serious, simply put.’

Sahiba Gafarova made a point of emphasising that, had the chairman of the French Senate truly intended not to take sides but adhere to fairness, he would have not gone only to Armenia but toured the whole region, and would have arrived in Azerbaijan on an official visit. Then, he would have been able to see with his own eyes the consequences of the vandalism and barbarianism wreaked in our lands freed from the thirty-years-long Armenian occupation – including the town of Agdam that is referred to as ‘the Caucasian Hiroshima’ nowadays.

‘Such a visit would have also enabled the chairman of the Senate to witness first-hand the respect paid in our country to the religions, culture and history of other peoples and, first of all, the religion and culture of no other than the Armenian people. He would have seen the Armenian Church standing in the centre of Baku still. In turn, this would have provided him with an ample opportunity to draw comparisons with Armenia having destroyed the cultural and religious monuments of Azerbaijan and having kept cows and pigs in our mosques throughout the thirty years’ occupation period. However, I am compelled to note with regret that my French counterpart had preferred a biased and one-sided standpoint rather than do all this.’

Madame Speaker also commented on the ideas of the chairman of the French Senate on prisoners of war of the Armenian extraction allegedly held in Azerbaijan.

Madame Speaker said, ‘The Azerbaijani side has declared time and again that the members of the subversion groups planted in the territory of Azerbaijan after the signing and publication of the Declaration of the 10th of November are not and cannot be viewed as prisoners of war. This is not merely what we are declaring: rather, the case in point is classified by the international laws in exactly the same manner. Therefore, we, in this context, dismiss the accusations levelled against Azerbaijan by the chairman of the Senate of France and urge him, instead, to pay attention to the issue of the mined territories – one that continues taking the lives and damaging the health of civilians and military personnel alike still. It would have been good if the chairman of the Senate would have acted through the prism of the French co-chairmanship of the Minsk Group and bound Armenia to make the minefield maps available. In this way, he would have supported the relevant calls of the international community addressed to Armenia.’