French National Assembly 2013

French National Assembly Joins Senate to Call for Recognizing Independent Artsakh Republic


PARIS (RFE/RL) – The French National Assembly joined the French Senate on December 3 in calling for recognizing Artsakh or Nagorno Karabakh, as an independent republic.

A resolution overwhelmingly passed by France’s lower house of parliament stresses the need for a Karabakh settlement “guaranteeing the lasting security of the affected civilian populations” and “recognition of Nagorno Karabakh.”

The resolution was introduced by Guy Teissier, a lawmaker representing the Republicans opposition party.

“In the face of this tragedy playing out today in the Caucasus, it is incumbent on France and other UN member states to use all their political weight to promote international recognition of the right to self-determination of the Republic of Artsakh,” Teissier said during a parliament debate on the measure passed by 188 votes to 3.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian spoke out against such recognition before the vote, saying that it would be counterproductive for both France and the Karabakh peace process.

“I hear your anger, your fears, your questions that you ask,” Le Drian told French deputies. “However, I do not share the objective of this resolution, namely the recognition, because our Armenian friends are not asking us to do that. They themselves haven’t recognized [Karabakh].”

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The French government opposed a similar non-binding resolution passed by the French Senate on November 25.

The Senate resolution was welcomed by Armenia but condemned by Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani parliament accused Paris of pro-Armenian bias and demanded an end to French co-chairmanship of the OSCE Minsk Group.


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