Baku. Malahat Najafova – APA. The so-called France-Karabakh friendship circle is an unrecognized organization with no official status, Hikmat Hajiyev, spokesperson for Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry, told APA on Nov. 29.
He was commenting on the visit of a group of members of the so-called France-Karabakh friendship circle to the occupied Azerbaijani territories.
According to Hajiyev, the circle is comprised of Armenian lobby members and others who are completely subjected to the Armenian lobby.
The spokesperson noted that Jacques Remiller, who organized the trip, now has his name in the list of ‘undesirable people’ of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry.
“Since France is to hold parliamentary and presidential elections next year, some parliamentarians resort to every provocative act, hoping to get financial and political support from the Armenian lobby,” Hajiyev said, adding. “They even dare to promote the criminal regime created in Azerbaijan’s occupied lands as a result of military aggression and a bloody act of ethnic cleansing. The Armenian lobby is making a marionette out of such persons by way of blackmailing and threatening.”
He said the stance of the French government in regard to the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is clear cut.
“Being an OSCE Minsk Group co-chair, France supports Azerbaijan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, and is working to find a solution to the conflict. The cooperation and friendship between Azerbaijan and France is developing in all areas, including at the level of legislative bodies,” added Hajiyev.
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.