Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire was essential - Foreign Minister

Nagorno-Karabakh – Reply by M. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, to a question in the National Assembly

Paris, 17 November 2020

I’d like to repeat to you here what I’ve said several times, including in this Assembly: I’ve told you several times that for the six weeks this serious crisis has been going on between Armenia and Azerbaijan, at every moment – several times a week – we’ve been in contact with the Armenian authorities. And the Armenian authorities, at the highest level, asked us to keep our place in the Minsk Group framework. I wanted to remind you of this because some people didn’t seem to know it.

I’d also like to tell you that you’re aware, like me, that firstly this ceasefire was essential to save thousands of lives; it was agreed by everyone, including the Armenian Prime Minister, who signed it himself.

Secondly, this ceasefire doesn’t resolve the underlying issue. And so the question arising is: how will the underlying problems be resolved in future? Well, the discussions have already begun, firstly between the French President and President Putin, and secondly between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and myself in Paris yesterday; and tomorrow we’ll be having a meeting in Moscow with the ambassadors responsible for the matter, to remove the ambiguities of the ceasefire. There are ambiguities in the ceasefire, about refugees, about the parameters of the ceasefire, about the presence of Turkey, about the return of fighters and about the start of negotiations on the Nagorno-Karabakh’s status. (…)./.

Published on 19/11/2020

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