France agrees to supply military equipment to Armenia

    WORLD  04 October 2023 - 09:48

    French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said on a visit to Armenia on October 3 that Paris agreed to deliver military equipment to the small South Caucasus nation.

    Colonna travelled to Armenia after Azerbaijani forces last month conducted an anti-terror operation in the Garabagh region and secured the surrender of Armenian separatist forces that had controlled the mountainous region for decades. 

    "France has given its agreement to the conclusion of future contracts with Armenia which will allow the delivery of military equipment to Armenia so that it can ensure its defence," she told reporters after talks that she said touched upon security and defence, reports France 24.

    France's top diplomat declined to provide any details. 

    "I can't give many details. If I have to go a little further, know that there are things that were already agreed between Armenia and France and that are in progress," Colonna said. 

    "There is a second category of things that we can do with Armenia," she added, noting that both countries did not seek an escalation in the region.

    France, which has a large Armenian diaspora, has traditionally helped mediate the decades-old conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the latter's Garabagh region.

    During Armenia’s occupation of Azerbaijan’s Garabagh region from 1994-2020, France served as one of three countries chairing the OSCE Minsk Group, a mediation structure tasked with bringing a peaceful end to the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict. However, the Group’s shuttle diplomacy failed to deliver on its commitments over nearly 30 years, writes Caspian News.

    In addition, despite the Minsk Group’s charter calling for neutrality in the negotiation process under the chairmanship mandate, France took Armenia’s side during the 44-day war between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces in the Garabagh region of Azerbaijan from September 27 through November 9, 2020. President Emmanuel Macron voiced solidarity with Armenia on the fourth day of the fighting on September 30, 2020. The French government, French towns, and aid groups spared no effort to help Armenia, with French cargo flights delivering medical supplies and other assistance tools to Yerevan.

    Following the 2020 war, the French Senate and lower house of the French parliament adopted resolutions to push the government to green-light the recognition of the so-called “Nagorno-Garabagh”, although even Armenia itself rejected recognizing the illegal separatist regime in Azerbaijani lands.

    In November 2022, the French Senate adopted a biased anti-Azerbaijan resolution, calling for condemnation of the so-called “aggression” by Azerbaijan against Armenia, withdrawal of Azerbaijani forces from the allegedly Armenian territory, sanctions against Azerbaijan, and all-out support by France for Armenia and the Armenian separatists in the Garabagh region of Azerbaijan by recognizing the self-designed bogus separatist regime. The resolution came after a deadly border incident between Armenia and Azerbaijan in September 2022, which ensued after the Armenian military’s attempts to regain positions lost in the 2020 war.

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