The law criminalizing genocide denial adopted by the French Senate puts
an end to Paris' mediation in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh
conflict, said chair of the unified Azerbaijan Popular Front Party
(AXCP) Gudrat Hasanguliyev.

In his opinion, Baku has to make an immediate decision to remove
France as one of the co-chair countries in the OSCE Minsk Group. The
MP also pointed out that adoption of this law will impact relations
between not only France and Turkey but also France and Azerbaijan.

This matter, according to Hasanguliyev, will be discussed at the Feb.

1 meeting of Azerbaijan's parliament. "In addition, we must rethink
our relations with France," he added.

Opposition Party of Hope (Umid) leader Iqbal Aghazadeh is of a
different opinion. According to him, as long as relations between
France and Turkey do not improve, the doors to the European Union
will be closed to Turkey. "And to expect any progress on this issue
after the deterioration of relations would be absurd. I believe that
Turkey is making some mistakes in this direction. Ankara gives other
nations a chance to put pressure on Turkey through such policies. In
my opinion, in such matters, Turkey should demonstrate a more tolerant
and indifferent attitude."

Aghazadeh noted that the French decision shouldn't play such an
important role in Turkey's foreign policy. "Unfortunately, in this
respect, Turkey has taken a very radical position and treated it as
a matter of life and death. I think this process will continue in
other European countries. At the very least it will be discussed,
which, in turn, will be an instrument of pressure on Turkey."

With regard to Azerbaijan's position on this issue, according to the
opposition MP, it should "stand beside its brother country".

"But you shouldn't present yourself as more Catholic than the Pope.

That would be the wrong approach. Azerbaijan doesn't have the influence
in the region and the world on political processes as Turkey. At
the same time, we must show the world that in all matters we support
Turkey," he said.

Reports compiled from