It is impossible to visit Armenia and not be interested in the events in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh). This was stated by Laurent Wauquiez, President of the French regional council of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, after the signing of the declaration with Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh Republic) Foreign Minister Masis Mayilian.
“We are the bearers of values that protect the rights of peoples, freedom, and the right of nations to self-determination. Those are the values that I wanted to present in writing in the text of the declaration signed in the framework of our relationship with Artsakh,” Wauquiez noted. “This is a declaration on the friendship of our territories, where we also remind ourselves of the values we adhere to. I also want to make it clear that the Artsakh authorities should participate in the negotiations [to resolve the Karabakh conflict]."
He added that he intends to promote initiatives through local authorities that will allow communities in the French province to work with Artsakh.
"My desire is to reach a settlement that will allow for long-term peace in the region," Laurent Wauquiez. "We cannot be blind in knowing that there are people who are constantly threatened, a people, when war can resume every day and the region will become a battlefield. This applies to both Artsakh and Armenia. It was impossible for me to visit Armenia and leave Artsakh out of this visit.
"And I, also, visiting the Armenian Genocide Memorial, could not but visit the memorial to the victims of the Armenian pogroms in Azerbaijan. I have two wishes. The first is that the authorities of Artsakh return to the negotiating table, as the establishment of continued peace is also conditioned by this. Second, so that NGOs can work in Artsakh and implement humanitarian projects. "