French minister urges neutrality on Nagorno-Karabakh | Eurasia Diary -

2 December, Wednesday

French minister urges neutrality on Nagorno-Karabakh

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France's foreign minister pressed the country Tuesday to adopt a neutral stance on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict as fighting in the occupied region continued, Yeni Safak reports. 

"We would be doing a disservice to the quality of our bilateral relationship with Armenia if we took an unbalanced posture that would call into question the role we play in the framework of the Minsk Group and the influence we have," Jean-Yves Le Drian told French daily Le Figaro.

Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Upper Karabakh, has seen heavy fighting over the past 17 days which has claimed the lives of 600 people, 73 of them civilians. The region is considered by the UN and international law to be part of Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan has significant hydrocarbon reserves which represent essential channels for many international companies, and Le Drian also recognizes the rapport with Armenia, thus his reluctance to stir the pot.

"We also have a long relationship with Azerbaijan," he said. "We would no longer be legitimate if we sided with one or the other of the two countries," he said.

An estimated 600,000 Armenians also make their home in France.

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