Baku responds to French FM Colonna's accusations

    POLITICS  04 October 2023 - 09:10

    Spokesperson to the Foreign Ministry of Azerbaijan, Aykhan Hajizada, has responded to false accusations of the French foreign minister against Baku.

    "Repetition by French Foreign Minister [Catherine] Colonna of fake 'blockade' and 'forced displacement' narrative in her meetings in Armenia doesn’t serve peace. Her statements on 'France always standing by Armenia’s side' finally removed all masks off French claims of being an honest broker and neutral mediator," Hajizada wrote on X, according to Caliber.Az.

    Shortly after the 2020 war, the Azerbaijani authorities voiced readiness and determination to launch negotiations with Armenia that would ultimately bring the long-awaited peace to the region. In March 2022, Baku submitted five basic principles to Yerevan, including mutual territorial integrity recognition and border delimitation activities.

    Since the end of the war, there have been a series of high-level meetings between Azerbaijan and Armenia mediated by European, Russian, and American officials.

    However, due to Armenia’s territorial claims against Azerbaijan, despite its recognition of the country’s territorial integrity, the peace talks did not lead to any resolutions. The presence of the illegal separatist regime in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan and Yerevan’s financial and military support to it blocked the attempts for a breakthrough.

    The armed provocations of the Armenian army formations stationed in the Karabakh region, dubbed the “defence forces” of the separatists, against Azerbaijan led to a one-day counter-terrorism measures by Baku from September 19-20. The anti-terror operation disabled almost the entire military infrastructure of the separatist regime. On September 20, they agreed to full disarmament and withdrawal. On September 28, the so-called leadership of the Armenian separatists in the Karabakh region announced the self-dissolution of the self-proclaimed and unrecognized "Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh)".

    Meanwhile, shortly after the anti-terror measures, Azerbaijani authorities hosted the representatives of Karabakh’s Armenian residents to discuss their reintegration. However, a voluntary exodus of ethnic Armenians ensued after the collapse of the illegal separatist regime. Despite Baku’s calls to stay and reintegrate, as well as pledges to guarantee all fundamental rights, a large portion of the Armenian residents voluntarily left for Armenia.

    Currently, employees from the State Migration Service and the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population of Azerbaijan are operating in the Karabakh region to help the ethnic Armenians of the region apply for Azerbaijani citizenship. Baku also launched an online reintegration portal to expedite the process.

    The Azerbaijani and Armenian leaders are expected to discuss the peace agenda this week on the sidelines of the European Political Community’s upcoming meeting in Granada, Spain.

    Caliber.Az

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