In a recent turn of events, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry has strongly criticized the comments made by French President Emmanuel Macron, labeling them as hypocritical.
The controversy stems from Azerbaijan’s decision to decline participation in a five-sided meeting involving Armenia, Azerbaijan, France, Germany, and the European Union, which had been scheduled for October 5.
Moreover, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan canceled his planned visit to Spain, adding another layer of complexity to the situation. During a gathering in Granada, President Macron expressed regret over the absence of the Azerbaijani and Turkish presidents at the European Political Community summit.
He vowed to reach out to President Aliyev once more to exert pressure on Azerbaijan. Macron cited ongoing concerns, including the humanitarian situation in Armenia, attributed to actions by Azerbaijan, and the ongoing border dispute between the two nations.
The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry responded swiftly, condemning the accusations leveled by President Macron during a press conference at the European Political Community meeting in Granada on October 5.
The ministry emphasized that France had been the one opposing Turkey’s participation in the event. They deemed Macron’s statements as misleading and unfitting for a head of state.
The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry further noted that it was inappropriate for France, a country historically associated with genocidal policies and the sole EU member state not part of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, to lecture Azerbaijan on minority rights.
Azerbaijan, with its diverse and multicultural society, stands as an example of peaceful coexistence among various ethnic groups.
Critically, the ministry highlighted the irony in France’s accusations of Azerbaijan’s “occupation” of 150 square kilometers of Armenian territory, especially given France’s indifference towards Armenia’s occupation of approximately 20% of Azerbaijani territory for the past three decades.
On September 19, 2023, Azerbaijan launched a military operation in Karabakh, aiming to dissolve all unrecognized Karabakh entities. Yerevan immediately decried these actions as aggression, denying the presence of Armenian units in Karabakh.
With Russian peacekeepers mediating, a ceasefire was established the following day, with one of the truce’s conditions being the disarmament of Armenian forces. Subsequent negotiations between Karabakh and Baku focused on the region’s integration into Azerbaijan, with President Aliyev asserting the restoration of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity.