Azerbaijan-France Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (AFchamber) Letter to President Emmanuel Macron
President of the French Republic
Mr. Emmanuel Macron
We are writing to you on behalf of the Azerbaijan-France Chamber of Commerce (AFchamber), an independent non-governmental organization representing French and Azerbaijani companies operating in Azerbaijan, to convey our concern regarding your recent statements made during the interview to France 2 aired on 12 October.
We were surprised and saddened to hear your comments about the Karabakh conflict and the ongoing peace process between Azerbaijan and Armenia as they did not accurately reflect of the reality.
As you undoubtably know, but unfortunately failed to mention during your interview, a former Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding districts were under Armenian occupation for almost 30 years, as established by the UN Security Council Resolutions (res. No. 822, 853, 874 ad 884) in favour of which France has voted. Despite the unambiguous demands of these UN SC Resolutions to withdraw troops from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan and allow for hundreds of thousands of displaced Azerbaijanis to return to their homes, Armenia ignored the international law and continued the occupation. France has voted in favour of these resolutions and recognizes these territories as a part of Azerbaijan. Even today, Armenian military remains in Karabagh region in violation of its obligations undertaken in the 10 November 2020 tripartite statement, acting as the main obstacle to the sustainable peace.
You spoke of civilian casualties, but you failed to mention the attack by Armenian forces on civilian population in Ganja and Barda. More than 100 civilian Azerbaijanis were killed in these attacks, including 13 children (one as young as 10 months old).
Mr President, the words we speak hold power. Your statements about this important issue are closely followed not only in Europe, but also in Azerbaijan. You have been a party to the meeting in Prague on the 6th of October and witnessed both Premier Minister Pashinyan and President Aliyev their commitment to the Charter of the United Nations and the Alma Ata 1991 Declaration through which both recognize each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
However, a one-sided narrative of events that you and other French politicians try to mainstream inflicts a serious damage to peace process and the establishment of long-lasting peace between Azerbaijan and Armenia. These actions are particularly harmful at the time when two countries are as close to signing a peace agreement as ever before.
As the AFchamber, we sincerely hope and urge the French government to take active and positive role to in supporting the EU lead negotiations of peace agreement between Azerbaijan and Armenia, affirming the territorial integrity of both countries. This would also positively impact the bilateral relations between France and Azerbaijan and improve the public perception of France in the region.
AFchamber stands ready to contribute to the improvement of the relations between France and Azerbaijan. To this end, we would like to invite you for an online meeting with our members to hear the perspectives of French businesses and the community living in Azerbaijan.
AFchamber is an independent non-governmental organization that represents the interests of more than 50 French, European and Azerbaijani companies. The main objective of AFchamber is to promote mutual economic and friendly relations between Azerbaijan and France. The AFchamber’s mission is to support and promote cooperation, continuous social dialogue, and a systematic and sustained expansion of economic and investment relations between the two countries. The Chamber is neither a member nor does it represent any public or international organization.
Azerbaijan France Chamber of Commerce