President Emmanuel Macron, left, with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan

Pashinyan Discusses Security In South Caucasus With Macron, Other Leaders At Francophonie Summit

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DJERBA, Tunisia (Azatutyun) — Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan discussed issues related to security in the South Caucasus with French President Emmanuel Macron and other leaders this weekend on the sidelines of a Francophonie summit in Tunisia, which took over the rotating presidency in the organization from Armenia.

The two-day summit of the International Organization of La Francophonie that began in Djerba, a Tunisian island off the Mediterranean coast, on November 19 has brought together leaders of dozens of countries.

Armenia, which became a full member of the organization in 2012, hosted its previous summit in 2018.

According to Pashinyan’s press office, during his meeting with Macron the parties “highly appreciated” Armenia’s presidency of the organization and discussed “issues related to the organization’s priorities and future plans.”

The two leaders also reportedly discussed issues related to further development of Armenian-French cooperation.

The official statement said that during the meeting Pashinyan and Macron also “exchanged ideas on the results of the quadrilateral meeting of the leaders of Armenia, France, Azerbaijan and the president of the European Council held in Prague in October this year.”

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“The importance of the implementation of steps aimed at strengthening stability and security in the South Caucasus was emphasized. Prime Minister Pashinyan stressed the need to eliminate the consequences of Azerbaijani aggression, and of an immediate withdrawal of Azerbaijani units from the sovereign territory of Armenia,” it added.

During EU-hosted talks in the Czech capital on October 6 Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, in particular, confirmed their countries’ commitment to the UN Charter and the Alma-Ata Declaration of 1991 issued after the demise of the Soviet Union, through which both sides recognize each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

Pashinyan also discussed the results of the Prague meeting with President of the European Council Charles Michel whom he met in Djerba earlier on Saturday. The two reportedly emphasized “the importance of the implementation of the agreements reached as part of the Prague Statement and the implementation of steps aimed at strengthening peace and stability in the region.”

Meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau the same day Pashinyan also reportedly presented “the consequences of the Azerbaijani aggression against the sovereign territory of Armenia and the positions of the Armenian side in the direction of their elimination.”

“The sides exchanged thoughts on the Nagorno-Karabakh issue, the processes taking place in the South Caucasus, as well as various issues of mutual interest,” the Armenian prime minister’s press office added.

Pashinyan also raised the issue of what he called Azerbaijan’s aggression against Armenia in his speech at the summit.

“We have to record that the fundamental principles of the UN Charter have been violated, in particular, the principle of not using force against the territorial integrity of any country, on which the collective security of all of us is based, thus gradually imposing the Law of the Strongest.

“The aggression carried out by Azerbaijan, to which the Republic of Armenia fell victim on September 13-14, is a vivid manifestation of this reality,” the Armenian leader said.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan addresses the summit of the International Organization of La Francophonie in Djerba, Tunisia, November 19, 2022.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, right, with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Pashinyan stressed that “Azerbaijan’s totally unjustified and unprovoked aggression led to the occupation of a part of Armenia’s territories, causing death and suffering to the civilian population and causing considerable destruction.”

“The established ceasefire, however, has not yet put an end to this country’s ambitions for other territories of Armenia.

“Faced with new threats, we expect the international community to make a fair assessment of the situation our country has appeared in today, condemning the occupation of some parts of the Armenian territory and demanding the return of Azerbaijani forces to their initial positions.

“Armenia, for its part, is firmly committed to contributing to the process of achieving a peace treaty with Azerbaijan, as well as ensuring the rights and security of the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh,” the Armenian premier underlined.

 

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