Macron Proposes New Method to Revive Karabakh Talks

By Asbarez | Saturday, 03 October 2020

French President Emanuel Macron in Riga, Latvia on Sept. 30

French President Emanuel Macron in Riga, Latvia on Sept. 30

‘Turkey Has Crossed the Red Line,’ Macron Accuses Ankara

French President Emmanuel Macron said in a statement Friday that he had spoken on the phone successively with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev about the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh and had proposed a new method to restart talks within the OSCE Minsk group, Reuters reported.

Reiterating his calls for a cessation to hostilities, Macron said work would start from Friday evening, as he upped his efforts to broker mediation in his role as co-chair of the OSCE Minsk group.

Earlier on Friday, Macron accused Turkey of “crossing the red line,” demanding that Ankara explain what he said was the arrival of jihadist fighters in Azerbaijan. He also urged NATO to face up to its ally’s actions, Agence France Presse reported.

“A red line has been crossed, which is unacceptable,” Macron said. “I urge all NATO partners to face up to the behavior of a NATO member.

“France’s response is to ask Turkey for an explanation on this point,” Macron said, speaking
after a summit in Brussels at which EU leaders agreed to threaten Turkey with sanctions over its gas drilling in Cypriot waters.

On Thursday, Macron announced that he had proof of Turkey deploying mercenaries—jihadists—to Azerbaijan to fight against Artsakh and Armenian forces. The Russian foreign ministry and a U.S. defense department source corroborated Macron’s claim.

Macron reportedly has been infuriated by the escalation of tensions around Artsakh.

He said that intelligence reports had established that 300 Syrian fighters drawn from “jihadist groups” from the Syrian city of Aleppo had passed through the Turkish city of Gaziantep en route for Azerbaijan.

“These fighters are known, tracked and identified,” he alleged, adding that he would call Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan “in the coming days.”

Macron this week condemned what he called Turkey’s “reckless and dangerous” statements backing Azerbaijan.

While visiting Riga, the Latvian capital on Wednesday, Macron called Turkey’s posturing in support of Azerbaijan’s military aggression against Artsakh “risky.”

“I have noticed the political statements made by Turkey (in favor of Azerbaijan), which I find to be inconsiderate and risky,” Macron said in a news conference in Riga.

“France is concerned by the warlike messages from Turkey which is in favor of Azerbaijan’s reconquering Nagorno-Karabakh. And that we won’t accept it,” he added.

Claiming that it was Azerbaijan last weekend that started the conflict, Macron said “something has been happening since July,” apparently referencing Azerbaijan’s brazen attack on civilian and military targets in Armenia’s Tavush Province, which began on July 12.

“It was determined that the attacks on Sunday came from Azerbaijan,” claimed Macron during the Riga press conference, adding that “both sides must comply with the cease-fire.”

Macron said that Armenia’s sovereignty and people should be respected, urging against any statements that would raise tensions.

The presidents of the OSCE Minsk Group chairing countries—France, Russia, the United States—issued a joint statement Thursday calling on the Armenia and Azerbaijan to cease “hostilities” and return to the negotiating table.

n conversations with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Friday, Macron, Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Trump’s national security advisor Robert O’Brien all pointed to the joint announcement as a blueprint for the resumption of the peace talks.