French President Emmanuel Macron has said he hopes to visit Nagorno Karabakh after the conflict is settled. He made the statement at a dinner with the Coordination Council of Armenian Organizations in France (CCAF) on Thursday.
“I invited him to Artsakh so that he can see the situation on the field. I knew he would reject my invitation, but I did it to focus his attention on the issue,” CCAF Co-Chair Mourad Papazian said in an interview with Public Radio of Armenia.
“I will not accompany you to Karabakh” because “I will lose all the good France has done for this conflict as a mediator,” Macron responded to Papazian’s invitation, but added: ““I hope to come with you the day we have settled all this.”
Commenting on the statement, Papazian said “this is an important remark, because it indicates that Mr. Macron sees only a pro-Armenian solution to the issue.”
On Erdogan, Macron said dialogue with Turkey should continue. “Of course we agree, but we want issues of democracy, human rights and Armenian Genocide recognition to be put on the table. Macron said he was planning to have a comprehensive dialogue with Erdogan and pledged to raise the Armenian Genocide issue at the meetings,” Papazian said.
Mourad Papazian called attention to another essential fact. “We had invited Turkish Armenian lawmaker Garo Paylan to participate in the meeting. He received a medal from the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo. Garo also had a chance to talk to the French President. We consider this is very important, as Paylan’s life is endangered in Turkey,” he added.
Papazian hopes that his participation in yesterday’s meeting could possibly save Paylan.
Speaking to Public Radio of Armenia, political scientist Gaidz Minassian said that “although President Macron did not refer to the details of the negotiation process, he still insisted that France would maintain its mediating efforts and said he hopes to see the conflict solved one day.” Besides, he said Macron promised to bring the Armenian Genocide issue to the agenda of talks with Turkish president Regep Tayyip Erdogan.
Minassian believes that aside from emotional issues, it is now important to speak about urgent problems. “We have to take up that mission in the Diaspora, and yesterday’s dinner marked the start of it,” the political scientist said, adding that they would need support from the Motherland.
Acceding to Gaidz Minassian, neither the Azerbaijani, nor the Turkish communities will manage to organize such a meeting in France. “The French-Armenian community is strong, as the French and the Armenians are bearers of the same culture,” he concluded.