By Rashid Shirinov
Recent scandalous statements by two presidential candidates, competing for the top position in France, over the long-standing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan raised concerns in the Azerbaijani society, thus undermining the future competency of Paris to mediate talks.
France, which is acting as a co-chairing country at the OSCE Minsk Group entrusted to mediate talks over finding solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, has numerously stated its official position on the problem. Paris recognizes the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and peaceful resolution of the conflict, that Armenia broke out laying down territorial claims to the neighboring country.
French Senator Nathalie Goulet calls on not to trust politicians when they are campaigning.
“My advice, never trust politicians when they are campaigning in France,” she said.
Goulet was commenting on the scandalous interviews of French presidential candidates Francois Fillon and Marine Le Pen in which they spoke against the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan
"French politicians, speculating with the Nagorno-Karabakh issue, want to attract French voters of Armenian origin," Goulet, who is vice-chair of the French Senate’s Foreign Affairs Committee Nathalie Goulet, told Trend on April 20.
She noted that the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh is unknown in France, where the population has big problems with employment, economy and safety.
Goulet added that there is no need to take seriously some statements of the presidential candidates.
“Wait for the next president and trust your friends in France, who support the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan,” she said.
The first round of the 2017 French presidential election is set to be held on April 23, 2017.
Leading analyst of the Agency for Political and Economic Communications (APEC) Mikhail Neyzhmakov has also noted that the presidential candidates began to make risky statements on the eve of the first round of elections, thus trying to attract more voters on their side.
For more than two decades Armenia and Azerbaijan are in a state of war following Yerevan’s aggression, ethnic cleansing policy and illegal territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenia keeps under control over 20 percent of Azerbaijan's internationally recognized territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions in a brutal war in the early 1990s.
Despite a fragile ceasefire agreement signed in 1994, Armenia keeps violating armistice with Azerbaijan.
Armenia ignores four UN Security Council resolutions on immediate withdrawal from the occupied territory of Azerbaijan, thus keeping tension high in the region.