French President Emmanuel Macron welcoming Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan at Elysee Palace

PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron again demanded that Azerbaijan withdraw its troops from Armenia’s border areas when he met with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in Paris on Tuesday.

Macron also called on Armenia and Azerbaijan to demarcate their border through negotiations and without “any fait accompli on the ground.”

“The Azerbaijani troops must leave Armenia’s sovereign territory,” he said after greeting Pashinyan at the presidential Elysee Palace. “I am calling on the parties to return to the positions held by them on May 11. France is ready to facilitate discussions.”

“We stand in solidarity with Armenia and we will continue to do so,” he added in a statement to the press made before a lunch meeting with Pashinyan.

Macron was quick to voice strong support for Yerevan after Azerbaijani forces crossed several sections of the border and advanced a few kilometers into Armenia’s Syunik and Gegharkunik provinces on May 12. “They must withdraw immediately,” he tweeted after a May 13 phone call with Pashinyan.

Macron said on Tuesday that France will do its best to achieve a “de-escalation and re-establishment of dialogue between the parties.” He indicated that the border crisis and the broader situation in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone will be high on the agenda of his meeting with Pashiniyan.

Pashinyan and Macron holding a joint press conference at Elysee Palace

Pashinyan thanked the French leader for having “spoken the language of truth since the outset of the crisis.” “This is extremely important for overcoming crisis situations in our region,” he told reporters before the talks.

He also thanked France for the constant support to Armenia and the Armenian people in the current difficult situation and for the humanitarian aid provided by it. He also thanked France for the constant support to Armenia and the Armenian people in the current difficult situation and for providing humanitarian aid, highly appreciating its involvement in economic projects in Armenia.

“There are many projects in our country – infrastructural, energy and economic, and France’s participation in them is very important,” Pashinyan said.

He also emphasized the important role of France as a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group and the activities of the MG in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh and regional conflicts and the establishment of lasting peace and stability.

Pashinyan invited Macron to visit Armenia in autumn. “The visit of the French President to the Republic of Armenia was planned a long time ago, but due to last year’s pandemic it did not take place. I hope that we will overcome the coronavirus and other crises together. We are waiting for you in Yerevan in autumn,” Pashinyan said., highly appreciating its involvement in economic projects in Armenia.

“There are many projects in our country – infrastructural, energy and economic, and France’s participation in them is very important,” Pashinyan said.

He also emphasized the important role of France as a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group and the activities of the MG in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh and regional conflicts and the establishment of lasting peace and stability.

Pashinyan invited Macron to visit Armenia in autumn. “The visit of the French President to the Republic of Armenia was planned a long time ago, but due to last year’s pandemic it did not take place. I hope that we will overcome the coronavirus and other crises together. We are waiting for you in Yerevan in autumn,” Pashinyan said.

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