Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev at a military parade in Nagorno-Karabakh, November 9, 2023.
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The President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, today accused France of creating conditions for a new war in the South Caucasus with its supply of weapons to Armenia, Reuters reported.
Last month, France said it had signed new contracts to supply military equipment to Armenia.
“France is destabilizing not only its former and current colonies, but also our region, the South Caucasus, with its support for separatist tendencies and separatists,” Aliyev said at a conference on decolonization in Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku. “By arming Armenia, it is pursuing a militaristic policy, encouraging revanchist forces in Armenia and preparing conditions for the outbreak of new wars in our region,” he added.
Reuters notes that Paris has not yet responded to these comments.
The crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh – started by Stalin, but continued by Baku and Yerevan
Baku and Yerevan have fought two wars over the past decade, but Aliyev scored a major victory in September after seizing Azerbaijan’s Karabakh region, where ethnic Armenians had achieved de facto independence since the early 1990s. Since then, more than 100,000 people have fled to Armenia. Azerbaijan is now in a strong position to conclude a favorable peace agreement with Armenia and is taking an increasingly hard line vis-à-vis Western countries, especially France and the United States, which have large ethnic Armenian communities and are favorable to Yerevan.
Amid worsening relations, Aliyev also said in his speech today that France was responsible for “most of the blood crimes in the colonial history of mankind”.
France sells radars and anti-aircraft missile systems to Armenia