The current situation and the status quo in Nagorno-Karabakh does not provide a way to eliminate the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, said Jean-Yves Le Drian, the Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs of France, at a press conference in Baku May 27.
“France, as co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, will make the necessary efforts for a peaceful settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and we believe that it is necessary to improve the work of the OSCE in this regard”, he said.
Jean-Yves Le Drian added that the status of the negotiation process on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was on the agenda of the discussions at the meeting with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov.
France, as co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, will continue to contribute to the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, said Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov at a joint press conference with French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drean in Baku May 27.
“We adhere to the strategy of resolving the conflict peacefully, and I am sure that France as co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group will continue to help resolve this situation”, he said.
The minister said that France has played an important role in the history of independent Azerbaijan and present cooperation between the two countries is actively developing in several priority areas.
“We believe in the fruitfulness of France's participation in the economic, transport, energy projects of Azerbaijan. This is the first visit of the delegation of the French Foreign Ministry to Azerbaijan since 1997, and I hope these visits will be more”, Mammadyarov said.
The sides also discussed issues of cooperation between Azerbaijan and the EU.
“I asked my French counterpart to assist us in the process of negotiations on signing a new partnership agreement between Azerbaijan and the EU”, the foreign minister added.
He further recalled that on May 27 President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of France Emmanuel Macron had a two-hour telephone conversation, during which they discussed topical issues of bilateral cooperation.
Expressing his satisfaction with visiting our country, the French Minister mentioned that he was received by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan H.E. Mr. Ilham Aliyev and during the meeting very fruitful discussions were held. The French Foreign Minister congratulated the Government and people of Azerbaijan on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, proclaimed on May 28, 1918.
Expressing their satisfaction with the development of bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and France, the sides underlined the importance of high-level meetings in further deepening of relations. The ministers appreciated the activity of inter-parliamentary friendship groups in the further development of cooperation ties between the two countries.
The Ministers noted the great potential for the development of economic cooperation between the two countries and emphasized the importance of promoting mutual investment between the business communities of Azerbaijan and France and expanding cooperation between relevant agencies operating in this direction. The sides also stressed the necessity of participation of French companies and establishing joint production enterprises industrial parks and industrial sites based on Azerbaijan's specially privileged zones.
Minister Elmar Mammadyarov informed his counterpart about the important energy, transport and infrastructure projects implemented by the initiative and direct participation of Azerbaijan and said that the realization of these projects serves to the stability and development in the region. He expressed his hope that these projects will serve to increase trade turnover and people to people relations among the countries of the region and the European Union.
The sides touched upon issues of cooperation between Azerbaijan and the European Union, and France's support for the development of Azerbaijan's relations with the European Union was highly appreciated.
Minister Elmar Mammadyarov noted that he met with the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs in Paris on May 15 and stressed that in order to achieve progress in the settlement of the conflict the fact of the military occupation of the Azerbaijani territories by Armenia should be ceased and in accordance with the demands of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions the troops of Armenian should be withdrawn from the occupied territories unconditionally and immediately and the return of internally displaced persons to their native lands should be ensured. Elmar Mammadyarov reiterated that attempts to change the internationally recognized borders of states by using force are unacceptable.
Referring to the illegal actions taken by Armenia in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan and entry of the representatives of illegal regime into territories of the European Union countries Elmar Mammadyarov pointed out the importance of preventing such illegal acts as an integral part of the settlement of conflict through negotiations.
Furthermore, during the meeting the issues of cooperation in science, education, agriculture, tourism and other areas were discussed. Also, the measures taken to promote and teach the French language in Azerbaijan were appreciated.
After the meeting, the ministers held a joint press conference.
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