PARIS, France (A.W.)—Azerbaijan’s Ambassador to France Elchin Amirbayov has pulled out of a scheduled live debate with Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Bureau member (France) Mourad (Franck) Papazian regarding the conflict in the Nagorno Karabagh Republic (NKR/Artsakh), reported Armenia’s Yerkir news outlet. The debate was to have taken place on the evening of April 7 on France’s France24 television network.
In a statement, Papazian said that the ambassador’s withdrawal proves that he is not prepared to debate on the issue. “Having refused to participate in the debate, the Azerbaijani ambassador shows that he is afraid. I greatly condemn this cowardly decision, which comes at a time when the Azerbaijani Army continues to violate the ceasefire announced on April 5,” read a part of Papazian’s statement.
Papazian went on to call on French Armenians, as well as Armenians across the world, to show their support through rallies and demonstrations aimed to shed light on Azerbaijan’s aggression in NKR. “There will be rallies taking place in Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, and other cities in the coming days,” he announced.
Papazian is a long-time leader in the French-Armenian community. He is the president of the Mediaschool Group based in France. He was elected a member of the ARF Bureau at the party’s 32nd World Congress, which took place in January 2015 in Armenia.