Azerbaijani parliament speaker slams French Senate president’s biased statements

The statements of the French Senate president in no way correspond to the commitments assumed by France as a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, said Speaker of the Azerbaijani Parliament Sahiba Gafarova.

Gafarova made the remarks in response to the biased and one-sided statements made in Armenia recently by President of the French Senate Gerard Larcher.

"On the one hand, the president of the Senate in his statements calls for the resumption of the activity of the OSCE Minsk Group and giving a new impetus to its activity, on the other hand, demonstrates a clear pro-Armenian, anti-Azerbaijani and anti-Turkish position,” she said.

“The statement of the president of the Senate about the destruction of "traces of Armenian culture" in Turkey and "Artsakh", made under the impression of what he saw at the exhibition organized in Yerevan, is far from being politically serious",” Gafarova added.

Gafarova especially stressed that if the president of the French Senate truly intended not to take anyone’s side, but tried to adhere to justice, then he would have visited not only Armenia, but the entire region, he would also have paid an official visit to Azerbaijan.

“Then Larcher could see the consequences of vandalism and barbarism on the Azerbaijani lands liberated from the thirty-year-Armenian occupation, including Aghdam city, which is now called "Caucasian Hiroshima",” the speaker said.

"Such a visit would also allow the president of the Senate to see the respect shown in Azerbaijan for the religion, culture and history of other peoples, first of all, the religion and culture of the Armenian people,” Gafarova said. “Larcher would see the Armenian Church in the center of Baku.”

“This, in turn, would give Larcher the opportunity to draw a comparison with the destruction of the Azerbaijani cultural and religious monuments by Armenia during a thirty-year period of occupation and the keeping of cows and pigs in the Azerbaijani mosques,” the parliament speaker said. “However, I regret that instead of doing this, my French colleague held a biased and one-sided position."

Gafarova also commented on the French Senate's thoughts about Armenian prisoners of war allegedly held in Azerbaijan.

“The Azerbaijani side has repeatedly stated that the members of the saboteur groups transported to the Azerbaijani territory after the signing and promulgation of the triliteral statement signed on November 10, 2020 [on ceasefire and cessation of all hostilities in the Nagorno-Karabakh region] are not prisoners of war and cannot be considered as prisoners of war,” she said.

“Not only we state this,” Gafarova said. “The issue under consideration is classified this way in the international law. Therefore, in this context, we do not accept the accusations made by the president of the French Senate against Azerbaijan, but call on Larcher to pay attention to the issue of mined areas, where civilians and military personnel are killed and are wounded.”

“It would be good if the Senate president to speak through the prism of France's co-chairmanship in the OSCE Minsk Group and force Armenia to hand over minefield maps,” Gafarova added. “Thus, Larcher would support the relevant appeals of the international community addressed to Armenia."


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