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Azerbaijan censures France for selling weapons to Armenia, calls it ‘provocative’

Azerbaijan censures France for selling weapons to Armenia, calls it 'provocative' Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev (R), Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan (M), French President Emmanuel Macron (M), and European Council President Charles Michel (L) held a quadripartite meeting to discuss peace between Azerbaijan and Armenia, Brussels, Belgium, October 6, 2022. (AA Photo)
By Anadolu Agency
Jun 19, 2024 3:27 PM

Azerbaijan strongly attacked France Tuesday for signing a contract to sell Caesar self-propelled howitzers to Armenia.

“The fact that France, despite the warnings of the Azerbaijani side, has supplied Armenia with lethal and assault artillery installations and other types of weapons is further evidence of France’s provocative activities in the South Caucasus region,” said the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry in a statement.

“Although the French Ministry of Defense claimed in an October statement last year that the military equipment supplied to Armenia was of a defensive nature, equipping Armenia with lethal weapons under the current military deal is another manifestation of the hypocrisy of the French leadership,” the statement said.

“The Macron regime, pursuing a policy of militarization and geopolitical intrigue in the South Caucasus region, is an obstacle to normalization of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan and ensuring lasting peace in the region.

“The current French leadership, which is excluded from normalization and regional processes due to such a destructive and biased policy, cannot forgive this to Azerbaijan and therefore continues its disruptive policy,” the statement added.

Underlining that Armenia is a country that engaged in “military aggression and occupation against Azerbaijan,” the statement further said that “the rearmament of Armenia, which has experienced bloody military aggression, by France, which is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), and the Armenian leadership’s support for the revanchist policy is a path to a new war, equal to political irresponsibility.”

Claiming that France, as a colonial power, has “historically had a rich hideous experience of creating hotbeds of war and conflict in various parts of the world,” the statement said that events in New Caledonia and other coastal colonies, including exploitation of locals, resource plundering, demographic changes from racist policies and forceful protest suppression, reflect the essence of the Macron regime.

“Instead of solving such deep-rooted problems, which are a relic of the shameful colonial legacy, and putting an end to neocolonialism, France is conducting a dirty propaganda and disinformation campaign against Azerbaijan,” the statement said.

“We declare that the leadership of Armenia, pursuing a revanchist policy, and the Macron dictatorship will bear full responsibility for the aggravation of the situation in the South Caucasus and the emergence of a new hotbed of war,” it added.

France’s continues arming of Armenia, regional tensions

France has been vocal about its determination to arm Armenia for months.

Azerbaijan censures France for selling weapons to Armenia, calls it 'provocative'
Nikol Pashinyan (left) meets with Macron (right), February 21, 2024, Paris, France (Photo by official Armenian Prime Minister’s website)

In February, French President Emmanuel Macron, hosting Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan at the Elysee Palace, made references to Armenians who lost their lives on the French side during the Nazi occupation.

Macron highlighted that Armenians are aware of their support for the French resistance and nation. “You can rely on France’s support for Armenia’s independence, territorial integrity, democratic progress, and fundamentally, its desire for peace,” Macron stated, expressing admiration for Pashinyan’s commitment to peace and courage.

However, France’s antagonistic policies towards Azerbaijan, coupled with Armenia’s purchase of weapons from France amid the normalization process with Türkiye and Azerbaijan, and Macron’s statements about continuing to arm Armenia, have not only caused tensions between the two countries but also escalated regional tensions.

France and Azerbaijan clashed over the New Caledonia issue recently. In May, the Paris administration accused Azerbaijan of escalating tensions in the French overseas territory of New Caledonia, located in the Indo-Pacific region.

France does not doubt that Azerbaijan is escalating tensions in New Caledonia. Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin claimed there is a connection between leaders of the pro-independence movement in New Caledonia and Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan denied allegations that it was responsible for the rebellions shaking the Paris government.

After the Karabakh War, France, portraying itself as the ‘new patron of Armenia’ in the region, is escalating tensions with its policies.

Some experts note that France, highly concerned about the Zangezur Corridor, aims to pressure Türkiye via Armenia, whom it sees as responsible for its expulsion from its African colonies.

Last Updated:  Jun 19, 2024 3:33 PM