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Azerbaijan Slams France, Armenia Over Francophonie Summit Document, Remarks.

Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan (file photo)

Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan (file photo)

Authorities in Azerbaijan have accused France of using the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF) as "an instrument of its foreign policy," saying that it will consider the documents adopted by it as "politically biased."

Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry on November 19 described as "provocative" remarks made by Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan the day before during a ministerial meeting ahead of the two-day Francophonie summit in Tunisia that began November 19.

Baku also criticized what it called "the anti-Azerbaijani position of members of the organization."

Referring to a draft resolution on crisis situations in the Francophone space, Mirzoyan had said that La Francophonie member states and governments "have expressed their solidarity with Armenia, making the main issues as their own, which determine the peaceful settlement of the sides to the conflict."

Mirzoyan stressed that the paragraphs of the statement regarding Armenia, a full member of the OIF since 2012, were "very balanced and represent the result of compromises into which Armenia has put great effort."

Azerbaijan, which is not a member of the Francophonie organization, said it believed that the final version of the document contained certain elements that "do not fall within the jurisdiction of the organization's mandate." Baku claimed that Armenia could use those elements "to carry out political propaganda."

Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry also accused France of using "political pressure" in the process of agreeing the text of the document.

French President Emmanuel Macron, European Council President Charles Michel, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and leaders of other French-speaking countries are attending the summit of the 54-member OIF being held on the Tunisian island of Djerba.

In his speech at the summit, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian spoke about what he called the occupation of Armenian territories by Azerbaijan, claiming that Baku was violating fundamental principles of the UN Charter; in particular, the principle of nonuse of force against the territorial integrity of any state.

Pashinian also reaffirmed Armenia's commitment to "contributing to the process of achieving a peace treaty with Azerbaijan, as well as ensuring the rights and security of the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh."

Official Yerevan says Azerbaijan currently occupies dozens of square kilometers of sovereign Armenian territory that it captured as a result of a series of incursions made since May 2021. Baku denies the claim.

Nearly 300 soldiers were killed on both sides in border clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan in mid-September, which proved to be the deadliest fighting between the two countries since the 2020 war in Nagorno-Karabakh that claimed the lives of close to 7,000 people.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have been locked in a conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh for years. Some 30,000 people were killed in a war in the early 1990s that left ethnic Armenians in control of the breakaway region and seven adjacent districts of Azerbaijan proper.

The war in 2020 was halted by a Russia-brokered cease-fire that resulted in Armenians' losing control over parts of the region and the adjacent districts.

Under the cease-fire agreement Moscow deployed about 2,000 troops in the region to serve as peacekeepers.

Nagorno-Karabakh is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan.

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