Azerbaijan, France in diplomatic row over Pécresse visit to Artsakh

French presidential candidate Valérie Pécresse has filed a complaint against Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev for “death threats” after her visit to Armenia and the Artsakh Republic in mid-December.

“I went to Armenia because the question of Eastern Christians is at the heart of my commitment, because the defense of Armenia is important,” she said on Europe 1.

“Had I known that Madame Pécresse was there, we would not have let her go,” Aliyev said, commenting on the visit.

Before that the Foreign Ministry of Azerbaijan had handed a note to French Charge d’Affaires.

Pécresse called Aliyev’s words “shocking.”

On January 18, French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian said in the Parliament that his department considers the statements of the Azerbaijani side to Pécresse after her trip to Karabakh “unacceptable in form and essence.”

Azerbaijan then accused Minister Le Drian of violating diplomatic ethics by commenting on the words of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.

Leyla Abdullayeva, press secretary of the Republic’s Foreign Ministry, called Le Drian’s comments “irresponsible and unacceptable.”

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