- It has been already 4th time that you travel to Azerbaijan within the project “Discover Azerbaijan”. How did you found our country?
- We visited Shaki region. It was exclusively beautiful here to be welcomed by the local people. As you know, a charter of friendship and cooperation was signed between Shaki and the city of Kolmar in France, and this charter successfully continues its activities. During the visit, the representatives of the delegation accompanying me were amazed by the Sheki's schoolchildren perfectly singing of French national anthem. They talked about France better than many French people did. I will remember that day as an unforgettable memory.
- As you say, you have been to Sheki this time. What did you like most there?
Azerbaijan is a very hospitable country, and Azerbaijanis are people with great hospitality. I observed that people living in the region were delighted to meet with French officials. The most important thing I witness here is tolerance and secularism, despite the fact that the majority of the country is Muslims. All religions and everyone's beliefs are respected here and you can feel this in any part of Azerbaijan. I think that B is an interesting country to visit with its traditions, rich history, ancient cities (Icheri Sheher), perfectly reflecting futuristic construction, with beautiful, shabby and magnificent views.
- The Grenoble administrative court invalidates the illegal documents signed between the local self-governing bodies of France with the so-called 'administrative regions' in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. The role of your institution is indispensable in this issue. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to you. What measures are being taken to prevent such cases?
- We mobilized to prevent the signing of conventions between the local self-governing bodies of France with the so-called "administrative regions" in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan and make those bodies respect the law. We are glad to see that French courts annulled this friendship convention. This shows that the French government is determined on prevention of signing the friendship declaration between the local self-governing bodies of France with the so-called 'administrative regions' in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. Courts should be harsh and clear to stop such cases. Besides, our French compatriots need to learn history well. We should teach them not to listen to falsified history.
It is necessary to remind them that Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding districts belong to Azerbaijan, and these territories were occupied by Armenia. In addition, it is worth mentioning that there are a million and a half refugees who were forced to leave their native lands and reside in different parts of Azerbaijan, as well as the Khojaly genocide, which the Azerbaijanis commemorate with great regret every year. We need to provide necessary information to the French people, who are unaware of these realities.
First of all, France, along with the U.S. and Russia, is a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group created with the aim of finding ways to reach a just and lasting peace. On the other hand, France enjoys good relations with both Azerbaijan and Armenia. France together with the other co-chairing states needs to intensify efforts to offers several ways to resolve the conflict.
In addition, there is a need to find some positive solutions to achieve a lasting and just peace. Here, France has a certain role. Today, peace is more beneficial and inevitable for Armenia, which is faced with difficult economic problems and whose population begin to leave the country as they do not have future hopes. During my meeting with the people displaced in 1992 in the wake of the Armenian occupation, I witnessed how many of them wanted to return to their native lands. This is normal enough.