FRENCH PRESIDENT'S VISIT TO SUPPORT SETTLEMENT OF NAGORNO-KARABAKH CONFLICT

Trend, Azerbaijan
April 4 2014

Baku, Azerbaijan, April 4

By Ilhama Isabalayeva -Trend:

French President Francois Hollande's visit to Azerbaijan is of great
political importance, French ambassador to Azerbaijan Pascal Monnier
told the media on April 4.

"The French president will visit Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia,"
he said.

"The main purpose of the visit is to support the settlement of the
Armenian -Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict peacefully," he said.

"I think that the conflict settlement will create more opportunities
for both parties. This is a sovereign region, which may shape its
future. We support peace and friendship between the countries of
the region."

President Hollande will pay an official visit to Azerbaijan this
year at the invitation of the Azerbaijani counterpart. There is no
information about the exact date of the visit.

The French president confirmed his intention to visit Azerbaijan at
a meeting with Azerbaijani ambassador to France Elchin Amirbayov.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988
when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan.

Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since
1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding
districts.

Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The
co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the U.S. are
currently holding peace negotiations.

Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four
resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the
surrounding regions.