French senator notes progress in Azeri elections Interview

French senator notes progress in Azeri elections Interview
ANN.Az interviewed French Senator Nathalie Goulet:Q: You monitored the Oct. 9 presidential election in Azerbaijan. What is your assessment of the election?A: I noticed a lot of progress. Some other observers have their own views. I myself can see a very important progress in the past ten years. I think Azerbaijan has to do more for the forthcoming parliamentary elections. Expectations from Azerbaijan are very high as the country is turning into a regional power by the day.Q: What's the latest on the French bill criminalizing the denial of the so-called Armenian genocide?A: For the time being, the French parliament isn’t looking into any draft law criminalizing the denial of Armenian genocide. I remind you that my country recognizes Armenian genocide and it would be a violation of my country’s law to write “the so-called genocide”.Q: There have been provocations by Armenians such as the beating of two Azeri students in Paris on February 26. What do you have to say about that?A: Regarding the student aggression in Paris, the case is being looked into at court and I cannot comment on it as it would be against the law.Q: The UN Security Council passed several resolutions on the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. We also have the OSCE Minsk Group that is mediating peace talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan. But there have been no results. Do you think Azerbaijan can resort to military force? And what can you say about the resettlement of Syrian Armenians in Karabakh?A: The Minsk Group is not very efficient. Armenians are allowed to do whatever they want. I understand why your people are upset. At the same time, your country has a lot to lose in [military] conflict. Armenians have nothing to lose. Their economy is dead. They are close to a bankruptcy. I do regret the lack of results in the Minsk Group’s mediation efforts but I am afraid we do not have any other way out.Q: What do you think about Armenian plans to reopen the Khojaly airport in Nagorno-Karabakh? Can peace talks be affected by this?A: I think it would be a violation of international regulations.Jamila IbrahimovaANN.Az

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