France does not recognize Nagorno-Karabakh – FM statement
France does not recognize the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh, the country’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement circulated earlier today.
The announcement comes following the French Senate’s decision to pass a resolution on November 25, titled ‘On the need to recognize Nagorno-Karabakh.’ It did so with 305 votes for and just one against.
The resolution is not legally binding, but called on the government to take it into consideration.
Jean-Baptiste Lemoine, Secretary of State at the French Foreign Ministry, said during the consideration of the resolution that France’s unilateral recognition of the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh would not help advance the peace process.
In addition, according to Lemoine, France’s responsibility as a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group is to work on the settlement of the Karabakh conflict through negotiations, in particular, on the future status of Nagorno-Karabakh.
“But France is loyal to its obligations to achieve peace and is determined to achieve a lasting settlement of the conflict in Karabakh, taking into account the requirements of the security and dignity of the peoples of the region. France will continue to do everything in its power to stabilize the situation in the South Caucasus.
It will remain involved in the Minsk Group co-chairmanship to advance on all parameters that have yet to be agreed upon after the November 9 ceasefire, in particular regarding the withdrawal of foreign mercenaries involved in the conflict or the protection of the region’s historical and cultural heritage.”
On the French Senate’s resolution
The resolution called on the French government to recognize Nagorno-Karabakh and provide large-scale support to the civilian population. The document also spoke about the need to create an international commission to investigate war crimes committed against the peaceful population of Nagorno-Karabakh.
It called on the French government to make every effort to resume the negotiation process, and to secure the borders outlined in 1994, which have now been changed by the Second Karabakh War.
The rapporteur on the resolution, Senator Bruno Retayo, said during his speech that the conflict has ceased to be local after the massive and decisive support of the Turkish President, who is pursuing an expansionist, neo-Ottoman and Islamist policy:
“I am quoting exactly the words of Erdogan: ‘Nagorno-Karabakh has become a country of Islam and returned to the shade of the crescent.’ How much more aggression is needed for Europe to finally announce real sanctions – diplomatic, but above all economic? When will we ourselves cease to be naive?”
The draft resolution was submitted to the Senate on November 18 by five senators from various factions, including the leader of the Republicans Bruno Retaio and the head of the Union of Centrists group Herve Marcel. In October, a bill on the recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh was presented to the lower house of the French parliament.