France calls for international supervision of Nagorno-Karabakh | Asia

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France wants international supervision to implement a ceasefire in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, fearing that Russia and Turkey will reach an agreement to exclude the Western powers from future peace talks, said Thursday the presidency.Paris and Washington co-chair the Minsk group overseeing the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute with Moscow, but they were not involved in the deal signed by Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan earlier this month to end six weeks of fighting in the enclave.

Since the ceasefire, Russia has held talks with Turkey, a key Azerbaijan ally and a harsh critic of the Minsk group, and its parliament has approved the deployment of Turkish troops in the region.

“The end of the fighting must now allow the resumption of negotiations in good faith in order to protect the population of Nagorno-Karabakh and ensure the return of tens of thousands of people who have fled their homes in recent weeks in good security conditions,” did he declare. Emmanuel Macron’s office said after calls with the President of Azerbaijan and the Prime Minister of Armenia.

The French population comprises between 400,000 and 600,000 people of Armenian origin. Macron was careful not to support part of the conflict, but has been criticized at home that he has not done enough to help Yerevan.

“We want the Minsk group to play its role in defining surveillance [of the ceasefire]A French presidential official told reporters.

The official said Paris was pushing for “international supervision” of the ceasefire to allow the return of refugees, organize the return of foreign fighters, especially from Syria, and start discussions on the status of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Relations between France and Turkey have deteriorated in recent months. Paris accused Ankara of aggravating the crisis in the caucuses.

“We understand that the Russians are talking to the Turks about a possible formula, which we do not want, which would reproduce Astana [process] to divide their roles in this sensitive region, ”said the official.

“We cannot have Minsk on one side and Astana on the other. At some point, the Russians have to make a choice.

The Astana forum allowed Russia and Turkey to discuss among themselves how to handle the Syrian conflict and how to sideline the Western powers.



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