PARIS — President of France François Hollande plans to discuss Nagorno Karabakh conflict with his Armenian counterpart Serzh Sarkisian during the latter’s visit to Paris, French President François Hollande said at the annual dinner of the Coordination Council of the Armenian Organizations of France, Armenpress reports.
“France bears special responsibility for this issue as a Minsk Group Co-chair country together with the USA and Russia. We are in haste, and haste really exists, to find a solution to this issue since the dreadful incidents of April 2-4 of the last year reminded us that every day or nearly every day a death cases is recorded in Karabakh. Therefore, we have to act to prevent clashes”, the French President said.
“Clashes are over, dialogue has started and ceasefire is reached but we cannot be satisfied by a ceasefire, since it is not a solution. We have to launch real talks aimed at the conflict resolution. It will be a huge mistake to think that the situation has stabilized. We have to refer to the elements necessary for the conflict settlement enshrined in the Madrid principles. We also know that when those principles are applied, they should be based on the right to self-determination of Nagorno Karabakh and for the purpose of taking this path France will organize a new meeting with Armenia and Azerbaijan”, François Hollande stressed.
Referring to Armenian-Turkish relations, the French President noted that the reconciliation process remains in a dead point.
“I assure France will do its best so as land border between Armenia and Turkey finally opens”, Hollande said.
Hollande referred to the decision of the Constitutional Council to revoke certain amendments to the Equality and Citizenship Act, including those related to the criminalization of genocide denial, Nouvelles d’Armenie reports.
“To deny the massacres of yesterday is to authorize the massacres of today,” Hollande said. “I welcome the quality of the work of Jean-Paul Costa, which was the basis for an amendment during the debate on the Equality and Citizenship Act,” said Francois Hollande, and stressed that “it is necessary to continue to act.” He described it as “a fight for truth, not for a cause.”
He then announced that a mission was launched last October by education minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem and chaired by Vincent Duclert to look for measures to “institute a day of National commemoration of all genocides, war crimes and thus the Armenian genocide.”
Lastly, he stressed the contribution of the French Armenians to the Republic. “We are here to talk about the best of France. Because you are the best of France,” he told Armenians.
“Even beyond the month of May, I will always be at your side, as I have always been. I will not have the same responsibility, but I will have the same conviction,” Francois Hollande concluded.