The European Azerbaijan Society comments on the appointment of Bruno Le Roux as French Interior Minister

Press Release: Following the appointment of Bruno Le Roux – former member of the Parliament and current member of the France–Karabakh Friendship Circle – as French Interior Minister, numerous French media outlets revealed the fact that he is officially persona non grata in Azerbaijan. This is due to the fact that he illegally visited the Azerbaijani region of Nagorno-Karabakh in 2015 with members of the Circle, without having first sought permission from the Azerbaijani authorities, amounting to an endorsement of the Armenian military occupation.

Following biased reporting and the publication of deliberate misinformation in the French media, derived from Armenian websites, The European Azerbaijan Society (TEAS) has contacted a number of journalists to shed some light on key facts.  

In effect, the region of Nagorno-Karabakh, internationally recognised as forming part of Azerbaijani territory, has been subject to Armenian invasion for more than 25 years, following the fall of the Soviet Union. A ferocious war between the two countries took place from 1988–94, and the subsequent ceasefire has been diplomatically maintained by the OSCE Minsk Group, a Co-Chair of which is France, alongside Russia and the United States.

Reflecting on this, Marie-Laetitia Gourdin, Director, TEAS France, said: “France plays a very important role in the resolution of this conflict, and the Armenian diaspora fully understands this. It is very telling that the Armenian Revolutionary Front (ARF), which is a party in opposition to Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, sent congratulatory messages to Monsieur Le Roux, following his nomination.”

Nagorno-Karabakh remains unrecognised by any state, including Armenia itself, nor is it independent, and Armenian armed forces also occupy seven provinces surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh. This represents around 20 per cent of Azerbaijani territory. This is despite several UN Security Council resolutions being passed, calling for the withdrawal of troops from its territories, in addition to calls by the European Parliament.