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France Demands End To Turkish ‘Provocations’ In Karabakh


FRANCE - French President Emmanuel Macron, wearing a protective face mask, welcomes Armenian President Armen Sarkissian for a meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, October 22, 2020

France stepped up on Friday criticism of Turkey’s role in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, saying that it is hampering international efforts to stop fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces.

“Our objective is clear: to see the ceasefire applied,” French government spokesman Gabriel Attal said after President Emmanuel Macron met with his Armenian counterpart Armen Sarkissian in Paris.

“The President [Macron] is working closely with [Russian President] Vladimir Putin for this,” tweeted Attal. “The solution to this conflict can only be found in appeasement. That is why it is imperative that Turkey cease its dangerous provocations in the region.”

Shortly after the outbreak of large-scale hostilities in and around Karabakh on September 27 Macron accused Turkey of recruiting jihadist fighters in Syria and sending them to Azerbaijan. "I urge all NATO partners to face up to the behavior of a NATO member,” the French leader said on October 1.

The Turkish and Azerbaijani governments rejected the French accusations backed by Armenia. Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev accused Macron of pro-Armenian bias.

France, Russia and the United States have for decades led international efforts to resolve the Karabakh conflict in their capacity as co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group. The three mediating powers have repeatedly called for an immediate end to the ongoing war.

The situation in the conflict zone was the main focus of Macron’s talks with Sarkissian. A statement by the Armenian presidential press office said the two leaders agreed on the need for an unconditional implementation of Armenian-Azerbaijani ceasefire agreements that were brokered by Moscow and Paris earlier this month.

The statement cited Sarkissian as saying that Turkey’s military support for Azerbaijan is “further escalating the situation and endangering regional peace and stability.”

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said last week that “the only country which isn’t calling for respect of the ceasefire is Turkey.”

Turkish Vice-President Fuat Oktay told the CNN Turk broadcaster on Wednesday that Ankara will not hesitate to send troops to Azerbaijan if such a request is made by Baku.

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