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In the grip of domestic & external problems, France's Macron suffers another humiliation at Azerbaijani leader's hand

03 March 2023 [15:50] - TODAY.AZ
By Azernews 

Elnur Enveroglu

The Summit-level meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement Contact Group in response to Covid-19 in Baku on March 2 under Azerbaijan's chairmanship will incontrovertibly go down in the history of the world's second-largest global institution with projects implemented to relieve pains of nations under the strain of Covid-19 pandemic and initiatives made by the rotating chairman to elevate NAM to the level deserved and status anticipated by member nations.

The summit with delegations from over 70 nations also heard Azerbaijan's clear-cut crystal position on and denunciation of France's neo-colonial policies in the XXI century.

The Azerbaijani leader in his epigrammatic and pungent comments on France's dubious roles at home and abroad as well the mistreatment of its own colonies, including unwarranted and unwished intrusion in the processes unfolding in the South Caucasus between Azerbaijan and Armenia, urged neo-colonial Paris to learn a proper lesson from the inglorious past.

"Unfortunately, nowadays, we observe a rising tendency towards neo-colonialism. NAM, which came into existence due to the historical decolonization process, should unify its efforts toward completely eliminating this shameful page of mankind. NAM always strongly supported the unquestionable sovereignty of the Union of Comoros over the island of Mayotte, which continues to be under the colonial rule of France. As reflected in fundamental NAM documents, we call on the French Government to respect the rights of the New Caledonian people and other peoples in French overseas communities and territories. The French-administered territories outside Europe are nasty remains of the French colonial empire. We also call on France to apologize and admit its responsibility for its colonial past and bloody colonial crimes and acts of genocide against NAM member countries in Africa, South-East Asia, and other places," Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said on March 2.

France is one of the five permanent UNSC members and though in this capacity its mandate calls for fair and just protection of other non-UNSC members' rights, Paris has long forgotten the significance of the mandate and is dancing to Armenia's pipe. Since Azerbaijan's independence, the relations between Baku and Paris have experienced ups and downs but have never reached the current level to trigger the sharpest criticism but fact-based.

France was one of the states that recognized Azerbaijan's independence in January 1992 and even opened its embassy in Baku second after Turkiye.

Now the major question is what is behind France's anti-Azerbaijani policies and prejudice? Why has official Paris always defended the aggressor Armenia irrespective of the occupation of Azerbaijani lands by Armenia?

Indeed, the fact that France never demonstrated this urgency when Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity was violated for 30 years raises questions about the true nature of France’s approach to the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict and the implications of Paris’ policies for the future of the relations between the two South Caucasus countries. These are well-grounded questions as France – along with Russia and the United States – was one of the three co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, and thus, was legally obliged to show neutrality and coordinate peace negotiations between Baku and Yerevan.

Apparently, unlike previous French leaders, the sweat shed by current President Emmanuel Macron for Armenia is not in vain. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan's meme with a telephone receiver that went viral waiting for France's Macron is an illustrative example of intimacy and chemistry between the two that goes against other interests since they are deprived of respect for respect third-party interests demand.

For instance, the majority think that Macron’s statements were more linked with the existence of a large Armenian community in France, whose votes were also necessary for his next shot in his latest presidential elections back in 2022, and as such, should not be taken seriously. This interpretation misses the fact that his hasty support to Armenia in the border dispute was by no means an isolated case. This has been, in fact, an integral part of Macron’s policies since the beginning of his presidency and, more fundamentally, is just another episode in France’s historically biased position on the Armenian question.

Of course, this should not be surprising if the matter is with France. The extensive experience in prejudice, defending the wrong against the right, and most importantly, colonialism relies on its deep historical background. Hence, the Azerbaijani president's address at the NAM Contact Group meeting saying - “The French-administered territories outside Europe are nasty remains of the French colonial empire” - also made France’s past exposed.

If not for its position in the Minsk Group or different platforms, this bias would not require any criticism as such support could be seen as inherent to any alliance between states. With this, France has not only turned Azerbaijan, which has a leading position in the South Caucasus, the Union of Comoros over the island of Mayotte which is still under its colonial rule, and New Caledonia against itself but unfortunately, has negatively affected Armenia’s relations with its Turkic neighbors (Azerbaijan and Turkey) with its immense support.

By supporting the wrongdoings of Armenians, refusing to pressure Armenia to stop its illegal occupation of Azerbaijani territories, and by attempting to downplay – if not justify – this illegality, France has emboldened Armenia’s nationalist groups and acted as a catalyzer by encouraging them to a more radical position. As a historic example, France’s policies in the 1980s vis-à-vis members of the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA), an Armenian terrorist organization, were long criticized for being lax and were even seen to appease the group, despite them having committed terrorist attacks against Turkish diplomats in France and around the world.

In a nutshell, the current French state policy is not balanced but openly pro-Armenian, and with Macron in power, Paris is uninsured against fresh debacles both domestically and externally and with slaps on his face from French citizens in protest at his unpopular policies, and Azerbaijan's president's Ottoman style slap will make him lose his bearings forever as a young and promising politician he was once tipped.


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