French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna (in the center) visited the Armenian town of Jermuk near the border with Azerbaijan

YEREVAN —  A military mission has been set up under the French Embassy in Armenia, French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said in an interview with Armenpress on Friday.

“Regarding defense, the creation of a military mission under the French Embassy in Armenia will, in fact, deepen our bilateral cooperation in this key area,” Colonna said.

The French Foreign Minister arrived in Armenia on April 27 on the second leg of her tour of the South Caucasus after visiting Azerbaijan. She will aslo visit Georgia.

While on her visit to Armenia on April 28 the French minister also travelled to Jermuk, an Armenian resort town that was shelled by Azerbaijani troops during last September’s deadly fighting on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border.

Secretary of Armenia’s Security Council Armen Grigoryan accompanied Colonna on the trip.

Edward Asryan, the chief of the Armenian Armed Forces’ General Staff, reportedly presented to the senior French official the situation in Jermuk after last year’s  Azerbaijani aggression against the sovereign territory Armenia.

Asryan said that the territory that Azerbaijani forces penetrated in the direction of Jermuk made over 60 square kilometers, with the front of the penetration stretching 11 kilometers wide and going up to 8 kilometers deep into Armenian territory. He said both military and civilian infrastructure came under shelling.

“Great damage was done to civilian infrastructure. The town of Jermuk suffered significant damage,” the senior Armenian military official said.

During her trip to Jermuk the French foreign minister, in particular, wrote on Twitter: “[I am] in Jermuk, with the observation mission of the European Union. The European Union is helping to ease tensions and build prospects for peace. The ceasefire between Azerbaijan and Armenia must be respected in order to find the way of trust.”

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