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Azerbaijan summons French ambassador to protest ‘baseless accusations’

Azerbaijan has summoned France’s ambassador to Baku to lodge a protest against “baseless accusations” of French politicians.

“On December 28, 2022, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of France to the Republic of Azerbaijan, Anne Bouillon, was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a protest note addressed to the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs of France was presented to the other party,” said a statement by the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry on Wednesday.

The statement said “deep concern” was expressed about “the expansion and continuation of the campaign based on open slander and prejudice against Azerbaijan” by several French lawmakers.

The statement also pointed to “a lack of a necessary response from the French government” regarding the concerns raised by Azerbaijan. 

Furthermore, the statement firmly rejected allegations contained in a letter written by French lawmakers to French President Emmanuel Macron calling for measures against Azerbaijan.

“It was emphasized that the said letter is a continuation of a series of anti-Azerbaijani measures and statements carried out purposefully and systematically, including the adoption of resolutions full of groundless accusations against Azerbaijan by both chambers of the French Parliament,” it added.

Baku also underlined the need to take “appropriate measures in order to immediately stop the campaign against Azerbaijan by the French government.”

Baku did not enumerate the specific concerns it raised to the French government.

In a separate statement, Baku’s Ambassador to Paris Leyla Abdullayeva criticised the French lawmakers in a message on Twitter, saying: “Karabakh, including the Lachin road, is a sovereign land of Azerbaijan. Karabakh Armenians are considered citizens of Azerbaijan. Universal values, moral duty and honour require you to support the peace efforts of Azerbaijan.”

Azerbaijan sees France’s response to the conflict as hostile to Baku and biased towards Yerevan.

Armenia and Azerbaijan fought a 44-day war in September 2020 over the Karabakh region, a territory internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan and seven adjacent regions.

The war saw Azerbaijan liberate several cities and over 300 settlements and villages that were occupied by Armenia for almost 30 years.

READ MORE: Why has Azerbaijan, Armenia peace meeting been called off?

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