Meanwhile the French minister for Foreign and European Affairs, Laurent Fabius made a controversial statement today, when he claimed that France’s diplomatic and military ties with Azerbaijan are much stronger than those with Armenia. Fabius further claimed that the visit by Aliyev is a proof for the strength of bilateral ties between the two sides.
Meanwhile the French Member of Parliament from Loire, François Rochebloine condemned the visit by Aliyev. Rochebloine claimed that the timing of the visit is not right, as it is happening only a few days after the pardoning of Safarov. He added that Azerbaijan’s habit of creating unwanted provocations is making it difficult to maintain the peace and stability in the South Caucasus region.
Ethnic Armenian organizations in France have announced that they will be organizing protest rallies across the nation, to show their anger against Aliyev’s visit. Hratch Varjabedian of the Armenian National Congress (ANC) announced today that a protest march will be taken in front of the Azerbaijani embassy in Paris tomorrow. Varjabedian also derided the decision taken by the Hollande government, to invite Aliyev to visit the nation.
The French Armenian community numbers around half a million, and are mostly concentrated in major urban agglomerations like Paris. Similar to the Jews, the Armenians also exert a disproportionate influence in the French politics. The centre-right Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) party, which was in power from 2007 to 2012, had backed the Armenians in most of the political issues during the past. However the Socialists, who are currently ruling have reversed many of the policies formulated by the UMP, attracting criticism from the Armenian circles.