ArmInfo."France demanded that the Azerbaijani forces return to their initial positions. I told President Aliyev on September 14 that the fact that the border is not demarcated cannot justify any advance into the territory of the other country," French President Emmanuel Macron stated at a news conference following his meeting with Armenia's Premier Nikol Pashinyan.
"In recent days, we [Macron and Pashinyan] have talked many times on the phone, because Armenia is again suffering from the armed clashes of September 13 and 14, and the situation is really critical.
"Large-scale military operations took place on the border of Armenia and Azerbaijan, causing many casualties. The territory of Armenia was targeted, civil infrastructures were destroyed. In the face of this unacceptable situation, France has assumed its commitments.
"France, holding the presidency of the UN Security Council, convened a meeting of the Security Council, where the situation was discussed twice, on September 14 and 15. The Council members demanded a speedy cessation of hostilities and respect for the ceasefire. Taking into account that there are occupied positions, France demanded that the Azerbaijani forces return to their initial positions. I told President Aliyev on September 14 that the fact that the border is not demarcated cannot justify any advance into the territory of the other country.
"In addition, I have clearly stated since September 13 that France is convinced that the use of force cannot be a solution for either Armenia or Azerbaijan and it is necessary to resume the dialogue immediately. All unresolved issues, which are numerous, should be resolved exclusively through negotiations. The negotiations are held in different formats, particularly under the auspices of the EU, and they should be resumed.
"I do not forget that exactly two years ago, on September 27, 2020, a terrible war began, which became deadly for the region. It led to a de facto new situation with an expanded Russian military presence in the region. And I strongly condemn what happened in recent days and call for peace and resumption of negotiations. I would like to salute the courage of Prime Minister Pashinyan, who proposed a new approach for the future of the region.
"President Aliyev, with whom I will talk in the next few hours, says that he also wants to end instability in the region and find solutions. But it is impossible to build peace under the threat of force. To that end, France will do everything, will pursue its goal, which is a stable, safe and prosperous South Caucasus.
"In a few minutes, Prime Minister Pashinyan and I will discuss the situation on the ground, as well as how to strengthen the ceasefire to avoid a new escalation and resume negotiations. We will also touch upon a number of issues to see how France, together with the European Union and other partners, can contribute to sustainable peace. I am talking about the delimitation of the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan, we also talked about it in Brussels. We will also discuss the actions of the UN and the OSCE.
"I know that the Prime Minister had important meetings in New York within the framework of the UN General Assembly. We can talk about that too. We will also refer to a very important issue: the issue of normalization of relations between Armenia and Turkey. This is a difficult but very necessary process and you know that France also has assumed commitments over this issue. This process is extremely important for the region.
"Finally, we will also discuss issues of bilateral relations. Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister, for coming to Paris after your visit to New York so that we could talk and discuss issues.
"Once again, I emphasize France's commitment to achieving peace and stability for your country and the entire region. I salute your sense of responsibility and your position to do everything to establish peace. I want your country to have tranquil and peaceful borders."