French MPs consider Azerbaijan to be a strategic EU partner

Press Release: The October 2014 issue of La Revue du Trombinoscope, the leading monthly French political magazine, contains an article entitled Why is Azerbaijan a key partner for the European Union?, published in association with the French office of The European Azerbaijan Society (TEAS). The magazine has an estimated circulation of 3,500 copies.

Signed by French MPs Jérôme Lambert (RRDP), Thierry Mariani (UMP) and Jean-Louis Dumont (SRC), the article recalls the background of relations between the European Union (EU) and Azerbaijan and underlines the relevance and importance of this country to the EU as a strategic partner in both business and energy matters.

In addition, the three MPs remind readers that Armenian armed forces continue to illegally occupy around 20 per cent of Azerbaijan territory – comprising Nagorno-Karabakh and the seven surrounding districts – for over 20 years. Despite four resolutions being passed against Armenia by the UN Security Council, together with condemnation by other international organisations, the occupation has resulted in more than 875,000 Azerbaijanis becoming refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs). The authors emphasise the essential role of France as a Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, tasked with establishing a negotiated peace to the conflict, and stress that resolution is the prerequisite to a more stable and affluent South Caucasus.

The MPs reiterate their support for a peaceful conclusion to the conflict and welcome French President François Hollande’s initiative to broker a meeting between Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian President Serzh Sargysan in Paris on 27 October. The objective of this summit was to reinvigorate the peace talks that have stalled since the Madrid Principles of 2008 and in the wake of an upsurge in violence in summer this year. According to the Élysée Palace, the dialogue concluded with a pledge by the presidents to continue the dialogue, particularly during a new meeting scheduled for September 2015 alongside the UN General Assembly session in New York.