Matthew Bryza: French Senate’s resolution on Karabakh ‘symbolic’ (EXCLUSIVE)

The French Senate’s resolution calling on the country’s government to recognize “Nagorno-Karabakh” as an “independent state” is of virtually no consequences other than symbolic, Matthew Bryza, former U.S. ambassador to Azerbaijan and former OSCE Minsk Group co-chair, exclusively told News.Az.

He noted that the French Senate is, of course, much less prominent than the National Assembly.

Bryza stressed that the resolution is very unprofessionally drafted in an amateurship way.

“It [resolution] is also drafted in a way that reflects both deep biased towards the Azerbaijani side and the ignorance of what actually happened in the conflict [Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh]. For example, while the document makes reference to the Constitution of France, the North Atlantic Treaty, as well as the ceasefire agreements of 1994 and 2020, it fails to mention the relevant four UN Security Council resolutions calling for Armenia’s immediate withdrawal from the occupied Azerbaijani territories,” he said.

The former diplomat continued: “Another sign of the ignorance reflected in the resolution is that references to the ‘Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh who are under Azerbaijani administration in Ganja, Baku and Sumgayit cities. Obviously, the Armenians in these cities were not from Nagorno-Karabakh, they were Armenians who happened to live in other districts of Azerbaijan.

Bryza pointed out that the resolution also shows deep ignorance of the conflict.

“Finally, the resolution shows deep ignorance of the conflict in saying that it demands restoration of the borders that were established by the 1994 ceasefire agreement. However, the 1994 ceasefire agreement does not envisage the creation of any borders, it simply recognizes the line of contact, which is the line at which the Armenian and Azerbaijani troops stopped fighting back in 1994, when the ceasefire was effective.  So whoever wrote this really does not understand the conflict at all and seems to be doing everything they can to push France to one side of the conflict – maybe to the Armenian side,” he added.

Bryza said the French Senate took such a step under the strong pressure of the Armenian diaspora in the country.

The former diplomat said he thinks the Senate’s decision should less impact on France’s co-chairmanship of the OSCE Minsk Group. “…because it is the Senate expressing its opinion on this case, it is not the French government expressing its opinion. What should disqualify France’s co-chairing the Minsk Group is the statements already made by President Macron and Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, which have been clearly supportive of Armenia and condemnatory of Azerbaijan and Turkey.”

Bryza also commented on the possible impact of the resolution on Baku-Paris political and economic ties.

“I don’t expect this resolution to have much even impact on political and economic relations between Azerbaijan and France. This resolution of the French Senate is nothing more than an expression of opinion,” he added.

He noted that the resolution very much reflects the anti-Turkish sentiment.

“I think France has long been against Turkey and obviously opposed its membership of the European Union by freezing the accession process. I think this approach by France reflects deep bias,” Bryza concluded.


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