French ambassador recalled from Azerbaijan amidst bilateral strain
    Macron admits defeat

    ANALYTICS  17 April 2024 - 15:19

    The French leadership has decided to recall the country's ambassador to Azerbaijan for consultations as it believes that "Baku's steps are damaging bilateral relations," the French Foreign Ministry said on April 16. Details of the actions that caused Paris' displeasure are not reported. It only emphasizes that French President Emmanuel Macron has already met with Ambassador Anne Boyon, who took up her duties just over a year ago.

    Yes, on January 26, 2023, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev accepted Boyon's credentials. I remember very well that at that meeting the head of state noted that more than 30 years have passed since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and France, that these relations enjoy a rich history. The President of Azerbaijan then expressed hope that the upcoming period would be more effective in terms of development of bilateral relations and cooperation between the two countries within international organizations.

    All this was said after numerous examples of openly hostile actions of the current leadership of France towards Azerbaijan. Yes, we remember that shortly before the start of the 44-day war, which Armenia provoked with its provocative steps and statements, French President Emmanuel Macron, during his visit to the capital of Latvia, made promises in the style of "we will not leave Armenia", accusing Azerbaijan and even Türkiye.

    Further, after the beginning of the 44-day war, Macron repeatedly called President Ilham Aliyev, trying to make some absurd demands and, in fact, nullifying France's status as a co-chair country of the OSCE Minsk Group. After all, official Baku agreed that France gained this status in exchange for guarantees of its impartiality and objectivity. It should be recognized that official Paris played this role to a greater or lesser extent under other French presidents.

    But Macron, "due to such a generational change in the fundamentals of French foreign policy", as the Azerbaijani president elegantly called his antics in an interview with local TV channels, decided to abandon neutrality, taking the position of an unequivocal defender of the occupying state. And in this role, he began to blatantly lie about Azerbaijan, passing off his ridiculous and unsubstantiated fantasies as facts. The demands of the Azerbaijani leadership to provide evidence of what Macron said were understandably not satisfied. France continued its policy of provocation.

    And even during the 44-day war, the French Senate adopted a resolution demanding Azerbaijan to withdraw its troops from... our own territories. Yes, from the very Azerbaijani territories that had been under Armenian occupation for more than a quarter of a century. The French Senate ignored the resolutions of the UN Security Council and General Assembly, which demanded Armenia to withdraw its occupation troops from the Azerbaijani territories.

    And I remember very well how Madame Boyon's predecessor as French Ambassador to Baku tried to convince the Azerbaijani public that the resolution of the French Senate had nothing to do with the position of official Paris. One way or another, but this provocative resolution lost its meaning at the end of the 44-day war.

    What happens next? The French Senate takes another provocative step. Two weeks after the signing of the trilateral statement, and in fact the capitulation of Armenia, the French Senate adopted a resolution on "recognizing Nagorno-Karabakh". I remember very well that one of the authors of this provocative resolution, Bruno Retailleau, said in his Twitter post that "only independence can durably guarantee the rights and freedoms of the populations of Nagorno-Karabakh in the face of Turkish Islamist expansionism”.

    Yes, hypocrisy, lies, manipulation, ignoring obvious facts, support for separatism - all this was done by the French Senate. But these provocations had no real impact on the situation. The resolution remained a piece of paper, hardly suitable even for hygienic purposes. After all, last September the Azerbaijani army conducted a brilliant counter-terrorist operation in the Karabakh region, fully restoring the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country and defeating Armenian illegal armed groups. The Karabakh junta announced its self-dissolution, and many of its former leaders were detained and taken to Baku, where they are awaiting a fair trial.

    The incumbent French President, who said that he defends Armenia's interests better than its Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, did not immediately recover from such a slap in the face. As a result, we saw attempts to adopt a resolution and later sanctions against Azerbaijan on the platform of the UN Security Council. There were several of them. But all of them failed, which was also a powerful diplomatic fiasco of Macron's France which moved to open military support for Armenia.

    We remember everything - starting from the statements by various representatives of official Paris about the readiness to actively supply Armenia with various kinds of weapons and ending with the French Defence Minister Sebastien Lecornu’s visit to Yerevan. "France is providing Armenia with military equipment that others cannot get," French Ambassador to Armenia Olivier Decottignies made a post on his Twitter account last week. He attached to the post an article about French Thales radars, including the Ground Master 200, three units of which were transferred to Armenia.

    As we can see, we have before us a brief, but explanatory overview of a number of provocative, anti-Azerbaijani steps taken by France during the presidency of Emmanuel Macron. Under his presidency, France, having abandoned the principle of neutrality, provided and still provides political, financial and military assistance to Armenia. Under him France lost the status of a mediator in the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict. Under him France lost the entire South Caucasus, because it is simply impossible to penetrate into the region without Azerbaijan's consent. And the recall of Ambassador Anne Boyon is Emmanuel Macron's recognition of his defeat.

    Azerbaijan, despite a whole series of provocative actions by France, including a terrorist attack on country’s embassy in Paris, did not recall its ambassador. Because Baku understood and continue to understand that populist macrons come and go, but relations between the countries remain. But monsieur Emmanuel decided to complicate this process. The next president of France will have to try very hard to regain, if not respect, at least trust from official Baku. In the meantime, Azerbaijan will continue to pursue a policy that meets the interests of the country. By and large, without even noticing that the French ambassador has left Baku.


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