PARIS — French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal has demanded Azerbaijan to withdraw its troops from the positions they have occupied in Armenia, Le Figaro reports.

The French Prime Minister said this at the annual dinner of the Coordinating Council of Armenian Organizations of France, noting that the President of Azerbaijan himself admitted that Azerbaijani forces have advanced in several areas of the Republic of Armenia.

“Our task today is to help Armenia protect its independence, democracy, sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Attal said.

The Prime Minister of France also added that Russia wants to punish Armenia for its aspiration for peace, respect for its sovereignty, as well as for the principles that Moscow disrespects in Ukraine.

Attal mentioned Armenia’s joining the International Criminal Court, stressing that Armenia has chosen the path of democracy and the rule of law.

“Russia wants to punish Armenia because it chose the path of the fight against impunity by joining the International Criminal Court and quite simply, because it chose democracy and the rule of law,” French media quoted him as saying.

The French Prime Minister emphasized that Moscow did not condemn Azerbaijan’s use of force in Nagorno-Karabakh, where Armenians had lived until the end of last year, adding that the so-called Russian peacekeeping forces allowed a humanitarian crisis to occur there.

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