Azerbaijan slams ‘threats’ from France after Paris recalls ambassador

Azerbaijan on Wednesday accused France of “pressuring” and “threatening” the country after Paris recalled its Ambassador and accused the Caucasus country of damaging bilateral ties, AFP reports.

“The Azerbaijani side has repeatedly stated to France that speaking in a language of threat and pressure will not bring any results, and once again declares that it will take all necessary measures to protect its national interests,” Aykhan Hajizada, Azerbaijan’s foreign ministry spokesperson, said in a statement.

French President Emmanuel Macron recalled ambassador Anne Boillon to Paris to discuss ties with Azerbaijan, the Foreign Ministry in Paris said Tuesday.

The Azerbaijan government has rejected France playing a role in mediating talks with Armenia over an elusive peace deal between the two ex-Soviet countries.

It has also criticized arms deals between France and Armenia.

Hajizada said that France had taken “open and explicit anti-Azerbaijan actions” and launched a “smear campaign” that had thwarted “the efforts to normalize relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia.”

Macron has voiced concerns that Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s territorial ambitions extend beyond  Nagorno-Karabakh, which his forces seized last year in a lightning offensive.

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