The blocking of this corridor linking Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh is unacceptable and has serious humanitarian consequences for the population, French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said in a letter to MP Anne-Laurence Petel, President of the France-Armenia Parliamentary Friendship Group.
“France immediately called for the urgent and unconditional lifting of movement restrictions and reminded Azerbaijan of its obligations under the tripartite statement of November 9, 2020, to guarantee the safe movement of people, vehicles and goods in both ways,” the Foreign Minister said.
“As you know, the Lachin Corridor is actually under the control of the peacekeeping forces of the Russian Federation, according to the same tripartite statement. Neither France, nor the European Union, nor the United Nations are present there,”Catherine Colonna said, noting that “Russia is still unable or unwilling to provide the security guarantees entrusted to it.”
“Considering the gravity of the situation, France took the initiative to put the issue on the agenda of the December 16 session of the UN Security Council at the request of the Armenian authorities. This meeting was followed, again at the initiative of France, by a new emergency session of the Security Council in an open format, which enabled all its members to call for the rapid restoration of traffic through the corridor and access of humanitarian organizations to Nagorno-Karabakh,” Catherine Colonna said in the letter.
She indicated that France is in permanent contact with its European and American partners, as well as with all the parties, to reach a settlement as soon as possible.
She also recalled that France is making efforts for the EU civilian observer mission in Armenia to obtain permanent status. According to the French Foreign Ministry, this mission significantly reduced border tension and constituted an important confidence-building measure to support the ongoing negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
“In this framework, a temporary assessment and planning mission was launched on the territory of the Republic of Armenia from December 20. This will prepare the rapid deployment of the EU civilian observation mission , which will begin as soon as the 27 EU Member States have approved its mandate. Faithful to its values, international law and the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, France continues, as it has done for more than three decades, to work tirelessly for a just and lasting peace in the Caucasus, from which the Armenian people will benefit in the first place,” concluded the French Foreign Minister.