Secretary of State: France has never recognized Nagorno-Karabakh either as independent authority or part of Armenia

Baku, July 13, AZERTAC

Secretary of State under French Minister for Higher Education and Research representing the government Thierry Mandon has said France never recognized Nagorno-Karabakh either as an independent authority or part of Armenia.

He responded to a question from deputy chair of the France-Caucasus Friendship Group and France-Azerbaijan working group at the French Senate, Senator Nathalie Goulet on a visit of the so-called president of unrecognized separatist regime in Nagorno-Karabakh Bako Saakyan to France.

“France is a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group and plays the role of a mediator in resolving the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. We do not recognize the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh and don't have any bilateral relations with the regime,” Mr Mandon said.

"Ms Goulet, you are absolutely right to say that the issue is much more complicated from political and legal points of view. As you noted, a number of French local communities have inked so-called charters of friendship with the local communities of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. The 'charters' were inked during the visit of Bako Saakyan to France on May 18-20.”

“The French government regrets the initiative of local communities. The signing of the ‘charters’ of friendship is illegal in accordance with Article L. 1115 of the Code of Local Communities. It is obvious that this step is contrary to international obligations of France, which does not recognize the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh,” said Mr Mandon.

“Ms. Senator, I assure you that France, as a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, remains fully mobilized for the peaceful solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. I would like to express my confidence that our relations with Armenia do not and will never affect the traditionally neutral position of France within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group," he added.

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