A resolution overwhelmingly passed by France’s lower house of parliament stresses the need for a Karabakh settlement “guaranteeing the lasting security of the affected civilian populations” and “recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh.”
The resolution was introduced by Guy Teissier, a lawmaker representing the Republicans opposition party.
“In the face of this tragedy playing out today in the Caucasus, it is incumbent on France and other UN member states to use all their political weight to promote international recognition of the right to self-determination of the Republic of Artsakh,” Teissier said during a parliament debate on the measure passed by 188 votes to 3.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian spoke out against such recognition before the vote, saying that it would be counterproductive for both France and the Karabakh peace process.
“I hear your anger, your fears, your questions that you ask,” Le Drian told French deputies. “However, I do not share the objective of this resolution, namely the recognition, because our Armenian friends are not asking us to do that. They themselves haven't recognized [Karabakh.]”
The French government opposed a similar non-binding resolution passed by the French Senate on November 25.
The Senate resolution was welcomed by Armenia but condemned by Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani parliament accused Paris of pro-Armenian bias and demanded an end to French co-chairmanship of the OSCE Minsk Group.
French President Emmanuel Macron criticized Azerbaijan’s military action in Karabakh shortly after the outbreak of the war on September 27. Macron has been even more critical of Turkey’s strong political and military support for Baku.
Visiting Armenia late last week, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, a secretary of state at the French Foreign Ministry, said Paris expects Ankara to withdraw Syrian mercenaries recruited by it for Azerbaijan during the war.
Lemoyne arrived in Yerevan with a delegation of French officials, aid workers and French-Armenian community activists on board a plane that brought a second batch of French humanitarian assistance to Armenian victims of the Karabakh conflict.
France is home to a sizable and influential ethnic Armenian community.