PARIS—In a circular issued on July 2, 2015, the French government banned cooperation agreements by local authorities with entities not recognized by the French government, including the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.
The text, sent to prefects and high commissioners in France, was jointly signed by Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development Laurent Fabius and Minister of the Interior Bernard Cazeneuve.
Recalling that “some French local authorities in recent months have concluded cooperation agreements with entities that are not recognized by the French Government,” the circular specifies the legal framework for decentralized cooperation agreements as follows:
– Any cooperation action must comply with the international commitments of France;
– In particular, local authorities cannot conclude contracts with a foreign state, except in cases provided by law or an entity not recognized by the French State including the Nagorno-Karabakh or the Crimea or entities posing as their local authorities;
– The authorities are required to forward to the National Commission of Decentralized Cooperation information about their external actions.
In the procedure to settle the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, during the Summit on Nagorno-Karabakh at the Elysee on October 27, 2014, “the Armenian and Azerbaijani Presidents agreed to continue their dialogue, including at a new meeting in September 2015 on the sidelines of the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York.”
Responding to a question in the National Assembly, Laurent Fabius said on September 23, 2014, that “any sustainable solution to this protracted conflict must respect the principles of non-use of force, territorial integrity of States and the right to self-determination of peoples.”