PARIS — France and Armenia will continue to develop cooperation in the field of defense, French President Emmanuel Macron said in a statement ahead of a meeting with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan at the Elysée.

“France has given its consent for the delivery of defense military equipment. And France will continue in the spirit of its responsibility in that area, aiming to prevent any escalation,” Macron said.

Pashinyan defended the French-Armenian military ties, saying that they are only aimed at helping Armenia protect its internationally recognized borders. “Armenia recognizes the territorial integrity of all of its neighbors,” he stressed.

Macron noted that France is also committed to helping refugees of Nagorno-Karabakh and provided 29 million euros in aid in 2023.

“France stands with your country because that’s where the camp of justice, independence, liberty and international law is,” Macron told Pashinyan at the start of their meeting.

“France will continue to resolutely support the development of relations between the European Union and Armenia. Here, too, we are making progress in favor of sovereignty and our common strategic interests. The observation mission of the European Union has been strengthened. It aims to contribute to stability, unbiased information to the international community and the security of vulnerable populations in military contact zones. Armenia should also take advantage of the European instruments of peace. The European Union and Armenia want a timetable for a new partnership,” the French President said.

Macron said he will discuss with Pashinyan the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict and what he described as the lingering “risk of an escalation on the ground.” He called for a “just and lasting peace” between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

“Azerbaijan should end any ambiguity — this seems to me more necessary than ever before — regarding its respect for the territorial integrity of Armenia and, in particular, any ambiguity regarding a reference map for working in good faith on the delimitation and demarcation of its borders [with Armenia,] which should also serve as the basis for a necessary mutual withdrawal of troops from the borders.”

Macron said that Baku should comply with a November order by the International Court of Justice to ensure the security of Karabakh Armenians willing to return to the depopulated region.

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