BAKU (Trend)—The OSCE Minsk Group is attempting to organize a meeting between President Serz Sarkisian of Armenia and President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan, according to the ambassador of France to Azerbaijan, Pascal Monnier.
Speaking to the private Azerbaijani media outlet Trend about the progress of negotiations to settle the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Monnier said that when parties take no steps, the settlement process stops.
“It is important that both parties take steps and set up claims,” Monnier told Trend.
“The Azerbaijani and Armenian sides should know that this point is very important and is in everyone’s interests.”
The ambassador said that France has made efforts in the past to find a peaceful settlement to the conflict, referencing French President Francois Hollande’s September 2014 and April 2015 visits to Azerbaijan, where talks were reportedly held.
He also said that the Artsakh issue was discussed more than once with the participation of the OSCE Minsk Group during the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Baku on the occasion of the opening ceremony of the first European Games.
“Also, the Russian co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group traveled to France, where the discussions continued,” said the ambassador.
“The OSCE Minsk Group is trying to organize a meeting of the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia in order to find a peaceful solution to the conflict.”
The ambassador went on to add that France has good relations with both Armenia and Azerbaijan and intends to expand cooperation with both countries.
“France is home to half a million Armenians, who are very active,” said Monnier.
“Azerbaijan is important to France as a strategic partner. Every eight months, the French president meets with the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia.”