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The declaration of friendship signed with Shushi is lawful, and I will appeal the verdict of the administrative court. Marlène Mourier, the Mayor of Bourg-lès-Valence, France, wrote this on Facebook.

A French administrative court has annulled the declaration of friendship which Mourier had signed in October 2014, with mayor Artsvik Sargsyan of Shushi, Artsakh Republic (Nagorno-Karabakh Republic).

“I challenge the interpretation of the administrative court, which considered this declaration unlawful,” Marlène Mourier wrote. “I’m convinced that it complies with the law, and I declare that I will appeal the verdict.”

She noted this basing herself on French President Emmanuel Macron’s commitment that the programs relating to the education and humanitarian domains—and which constitute the most essential part of declarations—shall not be subject to prosecutions by the French state.

Also, Mourier noted that in addition to the legal factors, her moral commitment to the people Shushi remains steadfast.

“I’ve been to Shushi many times and have come to realize how the expressions of humanity and friendship awaken hope in the hearts of a population which hostile Azerbaijan is attempting to suffocate,” the mayor of Bourg-lès-Valence added. “This decision is perceived very badly and is not understood in French-loving and francophone Artsakh and Shushi. The ties created between the people of Bourg-lès-Valence and Shushi remain very strong.”

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