Emmanuel Macron was criticised by Azerbaijan on Friday for making “false” and “unacceptable” remarks about Baku’s conflict with Armenia.
“We vehemently reject and condemn such statements. In a speech at a regional summit in the capital of Kazakhstan, Astana, President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan stated, “We do not see a possibility of France playing any role in normalisation efforts between Azerbaijan and Armenia from now on.”
Macron charged Baku and Russia with inciting the deadly clashes on the Azerbaijan-Armenia border last month that left nearly 300 people dead in a television interview earlier this week.
The conflict in 2020, during which Azerbaijan liberated numerous cities as well as more than 300 settlements and villages that had been under Armenian occupation for many years, was the worst flare-up since that time.
Since 1991, when Armenia occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Upper Karabakh, a region that is universally acknowledged as being a part of Azerbaijan, relations between the two former Soviet republics have been tense.
In a show of goodwill, according to Aliyev, Macron was invited to his talks with Nikol Pashinyan, the prime minister of Armenia, this month in Prague.
He made the remarks at a meeting of the Heads of State Council of the Commonwealth of Independent States. “A week after this meeting, Macron made these libellous, unacceptable, false, and provocative statements, accusing Azerbaijan of starting a war,” he said.
Macron “tried to mislead public opinion in France and around the world by manipulating the facts.”
In 28 years of mediating between Azerbaijan and Armenia, Aliyev claimed that the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe had failed to produce any fruitful results.
This institution’s primary goal wasn’t to end the conflict; rather, it was to put a stop to it. He claimed that the talks were merely a cover for the conflict to drag on indefinitely.
According to international law, including Article 51 of the UN Charter, which states that every country has the right to self-defense, “Azerbaijan resolved the conflict on its own”
The foreign ministry of Azerbaijan criticised Macron for “openly defending Armenia” in a separate statement.
He was “targeting a domestic audience” and making “groundless accusations,” according to the statement.
Despite Macron’s recent views “against Azerbaijan,” the ministry said Baku did not reject his earlier mediation offers. However, these views “seriously question the neutrality and impartiality of his mediation efforts.”
The statement read, “France’s unilateral position and baseless accusations… make it necessary to reconsider this country’s mediation efforts.”