18 January 2024 | 10:30   

The International and Inter-Parliamentary Relations Committee of the Milli Majlis Of the Republic of Azerbaijan wishes to make the following statement in response to the partial, biased and unfounded resolution that the Senate of the French Republic passed on 17 January 2024 at the instigation of the leaders of the Armenian Lobby operating in France and the French officials and politicians who are under their influence:

-  In recent years, the political circles of the French Republic, including the Senate and the National Assembly, acting under instructions received directly from the Élysée Palace, have intensified their blatantly racist, Azerbaijanophobic and Islamophobic efforts and now continue to take unjust steps levelled at the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan in open contempt of the norms and principles of international law;

-  The relations between the two states are at their historical nadir and could essentially be deemed suspended due to the anti-Azerbaijani policy of the French Government with the resolutions passed by both Houses of the Parliament of France inclusive;

-  Though it is a unilateral as well as multilateral obligation of France to respect the territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan within her borders recognised internationally, this state nonetheless calls into question the territorial integrity and sovereignty of our country in the draft resolutions that are initiated in France itself as well as in international organisations;

-  The fact that the UN Security Council and the European Union declined the numerous draft resolutions and decisions motioned by France and targeting Azerbaijan was due to both the successful foreign politics of the Azerbaijani State and the fair assessment that those organisations passed on the said initiatives of France: namely, the initiatives were categorised as biased and partial;   

-  Unsuccessful espionage exertions came as another manifestation of the illegal activities of France against Azerbaijan. The Government of Azerbaijan declared two officials of the French embassy in Baku personas non grata for the activities incompatible with their diplomatic statuses and contradicting the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961;

-  The destructive and provocative steps of the French Government as well as of France’s Senate and National Assembly hinder the fulfilment of the peace agenda between Azerbaijan and Armenia whilst also escalating the situation in the South Caucasus;

-       Apparently, the French side are concerned about the fact that in recent months there has been complete calm and no conflict situations on the Armenian-Azerbaijani conditional border. France is trying in various ways to obstruct the work on the conclusion of a peace treaty between Azerbaijan and Armenia;

-  Frances deals a blow to the normalisation of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan whilst also inspiring the revanchist circles in Armenia to start a new war as France sells weapons to Armenia;

-  The status quo preserved, that is, the sustained Armenian occupation of the lands of Azerbaijan, by certain states playing the parts of international mediators and, specifically, by France was one of the reasons why no solution had been found for almost 30 years to the conflict which threatened the security of the South Caucasus but also of Europe in general but which is history now thanks to the resolute actions of Azerbaijan;

-  The Senate of France which now remembers the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (1954) and the two protocols to it as well as the UNESCO Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, dated 16 November 1972, and the UNESCO Declaration Concerning the Intentional Destruction of Cultural Heritage, dated 17 October 2003, never called on Armenia to honour its international obligations though France knew full well that this state had breached the aforementioned conventions and declaration flagrantly whilst holding the Azerbaijani lands in occupation for close to 30 years;

-  Silent when hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis were driven en masse from their native lands in the present-day territory of Armenia and never calling for the restoration of those people’s right of return, France now demonstrates a commitment to the policy of double standards and makes every efforts to use any opportunity to place Armenians in the territory of Azerbaijan;

-       Now inflamed by the idea of cultural heritage preservation, France did not prevent the desecration of the monument to Khurshidbanu Natavan, a poetess, artist, enlightener and philanthropist still remembered also for her celebration of freedom and women’s rights – those who insulted her monument in Évian-les-Bains were never found and punished;

-  France distorts intentionally the decrees of the International Court regarding the temporary measures to ensure implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. The Court ruled in affirmation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and declined the claim of Armenia which called into question the sovereignty of Azerbaijan over Garabagh recognised internationally. Besides, the Court rejected the unfounded request that the whole military and law enforcement personnel of Azerbaijan be withdrawn from the Garabagh Region, and did not accept the application of Armenia to the effect that the Lachin Checkpoint obstructed traffic on the Lachin Road;

-  Contrary to the claims made in the resolution of the French Senate and in the persistent statements that French officials are making, even the report by the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, composed after her visit to Armenia and Azerbaijan, states that the departure of the local Armenians from the Garabagh Region of Azerbaijan without whatever force used by the Azerbaijani authorities was the voluntary decision that the local Armenians had themselves made;

-  Differently from France which is set on an openly hostile policy to Azerbaijan, most of the countries of the world and the concerned international organisations released statements condemning the ‘mine terror’ that Azerbaijan is facing. The acute problem of massive mine contamination of the de-occupied territories of Azerbaijan and the obstacles it puts in the way of rehabilitation of those territories and the safe and dignified return of the former IDP to their homes, and the grave threats to their lives and health are recognised and registered in international reports;

-  The atrocities of France, which occupied the territories of more than 50 countries in various parts of the world, pillaged their wealth and enslaved their peoples for many years, and France’s crimes against humanity and war crimes make the dark pages of the history of humankind. The armed forces of France committed mass killings of hundreds of thousands of civilians due to their ethnic and religious affiliations throughout the colonial years. The genocidal crimes are indelible stains on French political history;

- France carried out 17 nuclear weapon tests – including 11 underground ones – in the regions of Reggane and In Ecker in the Algerian part of the Great Desert during 1960-1966. France has not provided the Algerian side with topographic charts indicating the locations of the heretofore undiscovered chemical, radioactive and poisonous waste dumps still. At the same time, France refuses to assess those tests’ and waste’s impacts on the local populace and to pay appropriate compensations;

-  France, which planted more than 5 million mines in the occupied territory of Algeria, is still refusing to let the Algerian side have the relevant minefield maps. Consequently, like Azerbaijan, Algeria is one of the leading positions in the world amongst the countries suffering from mine explosions the most;

-  French troops killed more than 1.5 million people during the occupation of Algeria in 1830-1962, which is why this country is called ‘the country of 1.5 million shahids’;

-  The El Uffia tribe were put to sword whilst in their sleep at night in 1832; 12,000 people including women and children were annihilated then;

-       In the town of Sétif in 1945, 45,000 Algerians were killed, almost 5,000 were arrested with 99 eventually executed and 64 more sentenced to lifelong penal servitude;

-  Thousands of Algerians took to the streets in Paris on 17 October 1961 to condemn the French occupation. The fire that the French Police opened and the fact that the protesters were pushed into the River Seine resulted in the deaths of up to 1,500 Algerians, and more than a thousand more were arrested. That event was etched in history as the Seine Massacre;

-  Islamic education was prohibited, and mosques and madrasas were torn down in the French-occupied Djibouti, Niger and Chad. Muslim scholars were arrested; dozens of thousands of the resisting Muslims were killed. Put in the annals as ‘the genocide of academics’, that, too, was the doing of the French. In 1917, the French organised a conference in Chad pretending they intended to regulate the religious life; they then captured and shot approximately 400 Muslim scientists who had arrived for the conference;

-  As many as 18,000 skulls of soldiers killed in the colonial wars of the 19th century are stored and displayed at the Musée de l'Homme in Paris. More than 500 of the skulls belonged to Algerian warriors. France has not yet fully honoured Algeria’s request that those remains be repatriated. Such a caveman mind-set can be encountered in but few countries other than France in our time;

-  Approximately 3,000 Moroccans were killed in 2 days in the August 1907 Bombardment of Casablanca in the French-captured Morocco;

-       Though the French occupation of Tunisia ended officially in 1956 as a result of the liberation struggle, the French side made an attempt full of disregard for the sovereignty of that state to retain a pied-à-terre in it. In 1961, the French military responded with murders to the demands of the Tunisian people that the French military base in their country should be shut down. The Bizerte Crisis had approximately 5,000 Tunisians killed, according to the records of the local Society of the Red Crescent;

-  In the countries it occupied, France used chemical weapons and, specifically, poisonous gas in defiance of the prohibitions imposed by the Geneva Convention. The descendants of the people affected by those gases still suffer from oncological and other diseases;

-       The Mỹ Trạch Massacre in Vietnam on 29 November 1947 saw the French kill savagely hundreds of Vietnamese including 170 women and 157 children, and burn almost 400 houses down. The French soldiers were raping the Vietnamese women before shooting them dead;

-  In 1994, France carried out a military operation in Rwanda on the pretext of forming ‘a security zone’. The French armed forces and one side of the current local conflict that had joined them killed more than 800,000 Tutsi people. The document presented to the Head of the French State on 26 March 2021 by the Commission responsible for reporting on the role of France in the Tutsi Genocide in Rwanda is specific as to France’s responsibility for the massacre;

-  The 30 March 2021 report by the Defence and Human Rights Department of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) indicates that 19 local civilians were killed in the French air strike near the village of Bounty;  

-  France upkeeps cultural hegemony and wages culturcide in the overseas territories it retains under occupation; there, France obstructs development of the native cultures and pursues a policy of assimilation that results in the loss of the aboriginal languages; French schooling programmes are implemented that are incompatible with the local peoples’ histories and geography;

-  France committed such serious crimes as the mercury pollution of river water in Maohi Nui (French Polynesia) and pesticide soil poisoning in Martinique and Guadeloupe;

-  We urge the French parliamentarians to pass a resolution demanding of their Government, first, to desist from the colonial policy and, then, grant freedom to Kanaky (New Caledonia) and Maohi Nui (French Polynesia) who have long been struggling for their independence;

-  The UN General Assembly Resolution No A/RES/49/18 dated 6 December 1994 regarding Mayotte that is within the territory of the Union of the Comoros reaffirmed the sovereignty of the Federal Islamic Republic of the Comoros over the island of Mayotte. That resolution obligated the French Government to recognise that sovereignty and to carry out its obligation to respect the territorial integrity of the Comoros ahead of the Comoros self-determination referendum of 22 December 1974. We urge France, which ignores the relevant UN resolutions and disrespects international law, to see to it that those resolutions are carried out;

-  We urge France to admit the crimes against humanity and war crimes it committed, to apologise to the peoples subjected to the atrocities and to pay compensations to the states whose natural resources were pillaged;

-  We urge French parliamentarians to executive political will to prevent the mounting racialist, anti-Semitic, Turkophobic and Islamophobic manifestations of their own Government, and to pass a resolution designed to discourage further manifestations and occurrences of the kind;

In view of the above and, especially, the constant anti-Azerbaijani activities of France, the International and Inter-Parliamentary Relations Committee of the Milli Majlis of the Republic of Azerbaijan appeals to the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan for the following to be done:

1. Sanctions to be imposed on France.

2. Any asset(s) owned by French officials found in Azerbaijan to be frozen.

3. All economic relations with France to be suspended.

4. All the French companies including TotalEnergies to be removed from Azerbaijan.

5. French companies to be prevented from taking part in any project implemented at the request of the Azerbaijani State.

6. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs to be instructed to take steps towards the recognition of the independence of Kanaky, Maohi Nui and Corsica.  

The Milli Majlis of the Republic of Azerbaijan - The state legislative power branch organ is a unicameral parliament that has 125 MPs. The MPs are elected as based on the majority electoral system by free, private and confidential vote reliant on the general, equitable and immediate suffrage. The tenure of a Milli Majlis convocation is 5 years.