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Liana Sayadyan

Minor Diplomatic Flap at Paris Dinner Organized by French Armenians

A minor diplomatic flap occurred at a March 20 dinner in Paris organized by the local Armenian community when French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal accused Russia of wanting to "punish Armenia for its pursuit of peace and respect for its sovereignty, principles that (Moscow) disrespects in Ukraine."

These remarks, according to Le Monde, prompted Russian Ambassador to France Alexei Mechkov to get up and leave the dinner sponsored by the Coordinating Council of Armenian Organizations of France (CCAF).

The dinner, an annual spring event organized by the CCAF, honors individuals deemed ‘friends of Armenia’.

This year’s dinner marked the September 2023 Azerbaijani military offensive that saw Baku recapture what remained of the Artsakh Republic and the displacement of the region's Armenian population.

Attal also criticized Russia for supporting Azerbaijan's offensive. “Russian forces, allegedly peacekeepers, have allowed a humanitarian crisis to break out," he is quoted as saying.

Attal demanded that Azerbaijan "withdraw its forces from the occupied territories of Armenia", noting that Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev confessed that Azerbaijani forces have advanced to several points into Armenia.

"The challenge today is to help Armenia protect its independence, democracy, its territory, in short, its sovereignty and territorial integrity," Attal said.

Hundreds, including former French President Francois Hollande, mayors, elected officials, deputies, journalists and diplomats, atended the dinner.

Photo: Nouvelles d'Arménie  

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