Valérie Pécresse meeting with Artsakh president Arayik Harutyunyan in Stepanakert

The French presidential candidate, President of the Regional Council of Île-de-France Valérie Pécresse, who paid a visit to Armenia recently, visited also Artsakh, on the occasion of which the French Ambassador to Azerbaijan was summoned to the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry, ARMENPRESS reports citing Azerbaijani media.

The Ambassador was informed that the Azerbaijani MFA has placed several French citizens, including French presidential candidate Valérie Pécresse in the list of persons whose entry to Azerbaijan is undesirable.

Valérie Pécresse met with Arayik Harutyunyan, President of the Republic of Artsakh. With her delegation, she also visited Maison Paul Eluard, the country’s Francophonie center, and she had discussions with Bishop Vertanes Abrahamyan, Primate of the Diocese of Artsakh.

In Yerevan Pécresse pledged continued support for Armenia when she visited the country on Tuesday.

Pécresse met with President Armen Sarkissian, Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan, parliament speaker Alen Simonyan and Catholicos Karekin II, the Patriarch of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

Official Armenian press releases on the separate meetings indicated that she was received in her capacity as head of the Ile de France region of greater Paris.

The region is home to a large part of France’s influential Armenian community numbering some 600,000 people. French presidential candidates will vie for their votes during the tight presidential race.

A new poll released over the weekend showed Pécresse as the likely challenger to Macron in the second round of the elections slated for April 2022. They were trailed by two far-right candidates, Eric Zemmour and Marine Le Pen.

Zemmour chose Armenia for his first campaign trip which he took a week ago. Unlike Pécresse, Zemmour was not received by high-ranking Armenian officials. He met with several senior parliamentarians representing Armenia’s ruling party.

During her trip Pécresse was accompanied by former French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier and Bruno Retailleau, who leads the conservative Les Republicains party’s group in the French Senate. Pécresse won early this month the opposition party’s primary to be its presidential candidate.

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