Azerbaijan denounces French statement of solidarity with Armenia

Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan at the La Francophonie summit (RA Foreign Ministry, November 18)

Azerbaijani authorities claimed this week that “anti-Azerbaijan” text was removed from a resolution expressing solidarity with Armenia adopted at a pan-French summit on November 18. 

Armenia attended the two-day summit of the International Organization of La Francophonie, a multilateral institution that promotes cooperation between French-speaking countries, in Djerba, Tunisia between November 18-19. Armenia has been a member state of the organization since 2012 and hosted its previous summit in Yerevan in 2018. Azerbaijan is not a member of La Francophonie. 

La Francophonie member states adopted two declarations at the summit, including a resolution titled “Crisis Situation, Their Overcoming and Strengthening of Peace.” Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan, who attended the summit, said that, through several paragraphs about Armenia included in the resolution, “La Francophonie member states and governments have expressed their solidarity with Armenia, making the main issues as their own, which determine the peaceful settlement of the sides to the conflict.” 

Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan at the La Francophonie summit (RA Foreign Ministry, November 18) 

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said that the original text of the resolution included additional “anti-Azerbaijani” statements that were removed “as a result of the efforts of our friends in the Francophonie organization.” 

“We know them well, and they are our friends in the true sense of the word,” Aliyev said during a speech in Baku on November 21. 

Aliyev called the original draft an “ugly provocation” planned against Azerbaijan by France. He further mocked Armenia and France, stating, “They could call each other brothers, but for some reason, they say they are sisters.” 

Spokesperson for the Armenian Foreign Ministry Vahan Hunanyan denied Aliyev’s claim that the original text of the draft resolution had been altered. 

RFE/RL’s Armenian Service obtained a copy of the resolution on crisis situations, which will not be officially published by La Francophonie until November 23. According to the copy, more than 50 countries expressed their solidarity with Armenia and their concern about the recent military escalation between Armenia and Azerbaijan, especially the violations of international law, territorial integrity and humanitarian law. 

More than 300 people were killed on both sides after Azerbaijan launched a large-scale attack along Armenia’s border between September 13-14. Azerbaijani soldiers have captured critical mountainous heights within Armenia and displaced civilian residents of border communities including Nerkin Hand in the Syunik province as a result of the two-day war. 

Albania, Romania and Moldova conveyed reservations about the paragraphs regarding Armenia, RFE/RL said.

Foreign Minister Mirzoyan said during the summit that the Albanian delegation requested to reconsider the paragraphs regarding Armenia. Mirzoyan countered the paragraphs are “very balanced and represent the result of compromises into which Armenia has put great effort.” 

The Foreign Ministry of Azerbaijan called La Francophonie a “political tool of France to put pressure on other countries” in a November 19 statement responding to the La Francophonie resolution. 

The text about Armenia provides “a possibility of incitement of the political propaganda tools of Armenia,” according to the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry. The Ministry said the paragraphs were included as a result of “additional political pressures and deterrence steps” by France.  

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan also attended the summit. He met with French President Emmanuel Macron and discussed the outcome of their quadrilateral meeting with European Council President Charles Michel and President Aliyev in Prague last month. Pashinyan “stressed the need to eliminate the consequences of Azerbaijani aggression, and of immediate withdrawal of Azerbaijani units from the sovereign territory of Armenia” during their conversation. 

French President Emmanuel Macron and Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan at the La Francophonie summit (RA Prime Miniser, November 19)

During the October 6 meeting in Prague, the leaders agreed to send an EU observer mission to the Armenian side of the Armenia-Azerbaijan border for a maximum period of two months. The mission began in mid-October. 

“Faced with new threats, we expect the international community to make a fair assessment of the situation our country has appeared in today, condemning the occupation of some parts of the Armenian territory and demanding the return of Azerbaijani forces to their initial positions,” Pashinyan said during a speech at the summit on November 19. 

Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan, European Council President Charles Michel, and French President Emmanuel Macron at the La Francophonie Summit (RA Prime Minister, November 19)

French-Armenian journalist Tigrane Yegavian said that Armenians need to differentiate between friendship and diplomacy in pursuing relations with France. Yegavian said that Armenians emphasize cultural and emotional ties with France as the basis of friendship between the two countries. Instead, Armenia should strengthen its military relationship through France by seeking opportunities for arms sales from French companies, Yegavian said. 

“We should not live on myths and wait for a savior,” Yegavian said during an interview with CivilNet on November 21. “France will not be a savior. Macron is not a savior who will come to Armenia on a white horse.”  

Anti-French statements from Azerbaijani authorities have escalated recently in response to France’s public support of Armenia. 

On November 15, the French Senate adopted a near unanimous resolution demanding the “immediate and unconditional withdrawal, to their initial positions, of the Azeri forces and their allies from the sovereign territory of Armenia and the Lachin corridor.” The Senate also called on the French government and other European countries to consider sanctions against Azerbaijan, including the “seizure of the assets of Azerbaijani leaders and an embargo on imports of gas and oil from Azerbaijan.” 

The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said that the resolution “clearly demonstrates the biased and one-sided political position of France.” 

“The resolution is completely far from the truth, contains false and slanderous provisions, and serves to undermine the process of normalization of relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia, having the character of open provocation,” the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said. 

On October 18, a children’s choir sang a song on public television in Azerbaijan mocking Macron. “He is pro-Armenian. What can you say to this person? He gives us false promises. He dances with Pashinyan. He humiliated himself like this. Say, who is this person?” an announcer sings, to which the children’s choir responds, “Emmanuel!” 

The performance followed Macron’s comments on October 12 accusing Azerbaijan of launching a “terrible war” against Armenia in 2020. Until recently, Azerbaijan insisted that Armenia had instigated the 2020 Artsakh War.

Lillian Avedian

Lillian Avedian

Lillian Avedian is a staff writer for the Armenian Weekly. Her writing has also been published in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Hetq and the Daily Californian. She is pursuing master’s degrees in journalism and Near Eastern Studies at New York University. A human rights journalist and feminist poet, Lillian's first poetry collection Journey to Tatev was released with Girls on Key Press in spring of 2021.
Lillian Avedian

@LillianAvedian

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8 Comments

  1. Azerbaijan seems like a smitten little girl when Turkey sends jihadists to fight for Azerbaijan in 2020, or when Turkey sent in a military team of 4000 advisors and over 2000 commandos to lead the war against 150,000 Armenians, but they cannot tolerate statements of support for Armenia from France… Aliyevs oil & gas wells will be dry in 20 years, and we will see who then will support this vile dicatorship

  2. Dear Serop- Aliyev is vile and corrupt to the teeth, agreed. He is also a very ugly looking person. Besides the heavy weapons of course they have as you say the gas and the oil wells. Can Armenia wait 20 years for these to be dry?? Armenia needs state of the art weapons today, not tomorrow, buy them from France, India and why not the US. Just to have these weapons at Armenia’s disposal will make this Ugly Clown think twice. That is why the US is number one…. state of the art weapons.

  3. I can see that there are some positive things coming out of this leadership, finally. The CSTO meeting that followed was an absolute disaster and the russians realised that . Now we have to rally with our nation as one nation , put our differences aside and build one hell of an army. It is about time that we finance our army with superweapons, not russian junk. It is about time that we create the Allarmeniaarmament fund.
    Dear Armenians start thinking about this as another war is definitely coming, the Greek Turkish war might even start in spring 2023 which will end up in the expulsion of Turkey from NATO, and that is the objective put forward by US.

    • Putin has engaged a fast and loose foreign policy with his allied countries going rather beyond a reasonable balance of interests that all countries engage in. Armenians should realise that Russia will conduct its policies according to its own priorities and isn’t going to champion the Armenian cause out of a sense of fraternity. I have noticed the regular poster @ Concerned Armenian who would constantly denigrate Armenian leadership as being of a ‘cognitive dissonance’ and ‘political illiteracy’ and seemingly deserve ill fate and a cliché ‘well brilliant now enjoy the show’ for not being closer to the Russian Federation legally, on the basis this would secure Armenia against foes and ensure prosperity, and would be admonished by other posters for such bias seems to be absent lately has (he?) been banned by Armenian Weekly or given up for various reasons probably relating to Russia’s woes of late, although I wouldn’t count Russia out yet unlike many persons in the media and commenting forums are eager to do. Also the CSTO meeting in Yerevan was bound to be fraught due to its failure to assist Armenia, members caution about Russia’s conflict with Ukraine and hostility between members Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Separately Turkey seems intent on confronting fellow NATO member Greece over the Aegean Islands which will complicate NATO unity which has been tested over differences in members level of support for Ukraine. So Armenia should welcome French support but as with everything best to be realistic

    • armenia’s biggest enemy has always been its diaspora and people like yourself living abroad and not knowing realities on the ground. Azerbaijan is ready for another war. Guess what will happen next time? Armenia will be wiped out of map completely.

  4. Use the diplomatic gains to buy time to arm the country with
    Drone technology and advanced weapons. Aliyev will not stop with a “peace” treaty. He has never honored any agreement.
    His racist attitude must continue to divert the attention of his oppressed citizens. Catholicos Gevorg refused to leave Holy Etchmiadzin in 1918 when the Turkish army was approaching from the northwest and west. He said if we can not defend the spiritual birthplace of our nation , then he chooses to die there. We prevailed then and will each time the Turks seek to extinguish our civilization. We need to rely princibly on ourselves.

    • The 2020 NK – Arktash conflict should remind all of the realities on the ground, just as the conflict in Ukraine is doing its easy to pontificate from an ivory tower of relative safety and comfort that is rife in the west. The CSTO meeting was a farce as expected Russia has in confidence of Armenian vulnerability and seemingly irractable issues with Turkey and Azerbaijan been fast and loose with Armenia and its grimly true that non member Azerbaijan probably has more friends than Armenia in it and as the saying goes when you aren’t among friends best to leave. In some ways it’s proved its weakness and near uselessness to Armenia after all fellow members Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan have fought each other lately. It does seem that Azerbaijan is plotting to make further attacks on Armenia especially in the Syunik region to force a link with Turkey and separate Armenia from Iran

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