LOS ANGELES–A high-level French foreign ministry official expressed skepticism about the OSCE Minsk Group process for the Karabakh resolution and cited the large Armenian community residing in France as a factor in that country’s inability to push forward a resolution, State Department cables published by WikiLeaks revealed.
The February 2010 cable, emanating from the US Embassy in Paris and filed by political adviser Andrew Young, detailed statements by French Assistant Foreign Minister on Continental Europe, Roland Galharague, who was discussing a range of issues, which included the Caucasus.
“The Nagorno-Karabakh negotiations appear to be at a “dead end,” Galharague averred, adding that ‘Minsk (The Minsk Group) is going nowhere fast,’” said the cable.
“He noted that the French government is not in a position to push the Armenians at the moment because French citizens of Armenian origin ‘represent about 500,000 votes’ and French regional elections will take place in March,” added the cable.
Other factors may soon impact the Caucasus region, he warned, such as instability in Iran. “Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Turkmenistan all have important trade and energy ties with Iran and they could be immediately affected by the Iran sanctions bill currently making its way through the U.S. Congress,” explained Galharague to the American official, according to the cable. “At the same time, the effort to impose harsher U.N. sanctions may offer us an opportunity to further engage with those three countries about their approach to Iran.”