France Interested in Karabakh Peace Talks

Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan and French Minister of State for European Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Harlem Désir
Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan and French Minister of State for European Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Harlem Désir

Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan and French Minister of State for European Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Harlem Désir

YEREVAN (ArmRadio)— President Serzh Sargsyan received on Monday the Minister of State for European Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France Harlem Désir, President’s Press Office reports.

Welcoming the guest and his delegation, the President of Armenia noted that he recalls with special warmth his meeting with Désir in October 2015 in the framework of the Ministerial Conference on Francophonie during which they discussed in detail the agenda of the Armenian-French relations, possibilities to develop the Armenia-EU partnership as well as spoke about the NK peace process. The President noted with disappointment that Azerbaijan’s destructive stance and his predictions of the time regarding the possible consequences came true: at the beginning of April, during the aggression unleashed by Azerbaijan, servicemen of that country committed numerous crimes, targeting also civilian dwellings and peaceful population. The NK Defense Army not only held out but also gave a worthy counter-blow to the enemy. Azerbaijan nevertheless continues its provocations, and the situation remains tense. At the request of the French State Minister, the President of Armenia presented his views regarding the causes and motives of the situation established at the NK line of contact, as well as regarding his views on its possible resolution.

At the beginning of the meeting, Désir conveyed to Serzh Sargsyan warm regards and best wishes from the President of France François Hollande and reiterated the position of France, which is also a Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, on the resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh problem. He said that in his country they believe that there is no military resolution to this conflict, and France is interested in the resumption of negotiations for the benefit of a peaceful resolution of the problem.

The parties concurred that in this situation it is necessary to expeditiously establish mechanisms for the monitoring of the violations of the ceasefire regime and introduction of the confidence building measures to prevent aggressive interventions and to create a possibility for reaching at the table of negotiations mutually acceptable solutions.

According to Harlem Désir, presence in his delegation of the French Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group Pierre Andrieu proves once again that France spares no effort to find a speedy and peaceful solution to the problem.

The French Minister also visited Tsitsernakaberd Memorial to pay tribute to the memory of the 1.5 million victims of the Armenian Genocide.

“The first genocide of the 20th century should never be forgotten,” Desir told reporters.

“It’s now 15 years since the upper and lower houses of the French Parliament unanimously recognized the Armenian Genocide. We now have to work to have the Armenian Genocide recognized by all humanity,” he added.

According to the Minister, it’s impossible to create the future without properly assessing the painful events of the past, without recognizing that inhumane pain, and without reconciliation.

Speaking about the Karabakh issue, the Minister said he has brought a message to Armenia. He stressed the need to resume talks in order to escape escalation of violence. “We must combine efforts to be able to create a lasting, stable peace in the region based on most important and basic principles.”

Calling for reconciliation will be the Désir’s main emphasis of his meetings in Yerevan and Baku. He also stressed the importance of confidence-building measures, investigation of border incidents, and use of technical means at the line of contact.

“We cannot speak of a frozen conflict, when we have losses among the civilian population and military,” Desir said, emphasizing the importance of resumption of the negotiation process.

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