Saint-Etienne mayor blacklisted over his visit to occupied Shusha

Saint-Etienne mayor blacklisted over his visit to occupied Shusha

Baku strongly condemns the visit of the Saint-Etienne mayor (France) to the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan said.

"This step taken by the local authority of France in a breach of norms and principles of international law, the Azerbaijani legislation, as well as the as the national legislation of France serves to promoting the illegal separatist regime created by Armenia in the occupied Azerbaijani territories. The mayor of the city of Saint-Etienne is accompanied during this illegal visit by François Rochebloine, a person notoriously known for his bias position against Azerbaijan and acting under influence of the Armenian lobby in France," the statement says.

"We refer to the Circular on the legal framework of external actions of local authorities signed by the Minister of Internal Affairs and the Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs of France on May 24, 2018, and recall that the local authorities are prohibited from interacting in any form, including concluding agreements, carrying out visits and holding joint actions with the separatist authorities of territorial entities which have not been recognized by France. In this regard we underline that the allegedly signed “Friendship Statement” during this illegal visit does not have any legal basis," the message reads.

The foreign ministry stressed that such illegal steps of the local authorities of France seriously undermine the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, where France is represented, to find a solution to the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict via negotiations, and the image of France as a mediator. "We call on the Government of France to take necessary measures to restraint its local authorities from any actions serving the strengthening of the current situation of status quo created as a result of the occupation of the Azerbaijani territories and urge them to unconditionally implement the provisions of its legislation," the foreign ministry added.

The ministry also said that the name of the French citizen Gaël Perdriau will be included to the list of the persons whose entry to the Republic of Azerbaijan is denied for conducting the illegal visit to the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan in violation of the Azerbaijani legislation.

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