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Armenia Defends Military Cooperation with France; Criticizes Baku's Response

The Armenian Foreign Affairs Ministry issued the below statement today criticizing Baku for describing growing French-Armenian defense cooperation as irresponsible and “emboldening revanchist forces in Armenia.”

Yesterday, in Paris, Armenian Defense Minister Suren Papikyan signed a contract with a French military manufacturer to purchase an unspecified number of  CAESAR self-propelled howitzers.

Assistant to the President of Azerbaijan, Head of Foreign Policy Affairs Department of the Presidential Administration Hikmet Hajiyev, responding to the news, called on France to pursue “a more responsible policy” when it comes to Armenia given that it “was engaged in occupation and aggression.” 

Azerbaijan’s critique of French-Armenian military cooperation is not new. Baku lashed out at France in October 2023 following a deal to provide Armenia with French-made Mistral short-range surface-to-air missiles and radar units.

France has also promised to improve Armenia’s air defenses, train Armenian military personnel, and help the country reform its armed forces.

"The reaction to the Armenia-France military-technical cooperation by official Baku causes confusion. It is the sovereign right of every state to maintain combat-capable armed forces equipped with modern military assets.

The Republic of Armenia recognizes the territorial integrity and inviolability of the borders of all its neighbours. Armenia and Azerbaijan on the highest level agreed that they mutually recognize the territorial integrity and sovereignty of each other based on the 1991 Alma-Ata Declaration. The Republic of Armenia is loyal to this principle and does not have any ambitions beyond its internationally recognized 29,743 square kilometers.

The Republic of Armenia has practically proven this approach by the initiative of conducting delimitation in four villages of the Gazakh Region of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Tavush Region of the Republic of Armenia. We call on Azerbaijan to cease the occupation of vital territories of more than thirty villages of the Republic of Armenia.

Azerbaijan's practice of predicting regional escalations at every opportunity is alarming and comes to prove the analyses made by a number of centers that Azerbaijan will do everything to disrupt the process of concluding a peace agreement with Armenia in order to launch a new aggression against the Republic of Armenia after the COP29 summit in Baku in November 2024.

We draw the attention of the international community to this, as well as to the fact that official Yerevan's proposal to conclude a peace agreement within one month remained without response by official Baku".

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