The French presidency said, on Thursday, that Paris wants international supervision to implement a ceasefire in the Karabakh conflict, amid its fears that Moscow and Ankara may conclude an agreement to distance Western powers from future peace talks.
France and the United States did not participate in the agreement to end the fighting in the region, despite their membership in the presidency of the Minsk Group, which oversees the conflict.
The agreement was signed on November 10 under the auspices of Russia, and was signed by the two parties to the conflict, Armenia and Azerbaijan, which ended 6 weeks of fighting in the region.
Since the ceasefire, Russia has held talks with Turkey, which is a key ally of Azerbaijan and a fierce critic of the Minsk Group, which would lead to Ankara’s deployment of forces in the region.
The office of French President Emmanuel Macron said, “The end of the fighting should allow the resumption of good-faith negotiations in order to protect the people of Nagorno Karabakh and ensure the return of tens of thousands who fled their homes in the past few weeks in new security conditions.”
The statement followed two calls made by Macron with the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, and the Prime Minister of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan.
400 to 600,000 French residents are of Armenian descent, and Macron is keen not to support one party at the expense of another in the conflict; But he is facing criticism at home for not doing enough to support Armenia.
“We want the Minsk group to play its role in determining (status) the monitoring (of the ceasefire),” a French presidency official told reporters.
A source said that Paris was pressing for “international supervision” on the ceasefire in order to allow the return of refugees and organize the return of foreign fighters, especially from Syria.
France is afraid of Turkey’s presence in the conflict, amid the continuing tense relations between the two sides, and their disagreement over many files.
Paris accuses Ankara of “fueling the crisis in the Caucasus,” while Ankara insists on its right to support “the Azerbaijani brothers to liberate their lands from the Armenian occupation.”
It is noteworthy that the Turkish Parliament recently approved sending Turkish troops to Azerbaijan.