Francois Hollande: Abandoning Armenia would be disgrace for France, shame for Europe
Abandoning Armenia would be a disgrace for France and a shame for Europe. The time has come to declare decisively and convincingly that its borders are sacred, said former French President Francois Hollande.
"When I was the president, I participated in mediation efforts to find a solution to the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. That experience forces me to issue a warning. Today, justice and honor require France to do everything possible to help Armenians," Hollande said.
In his opinion, by turning its back on Armenia, Russia pursues several goals.
"First, it will enable [Russian President] Putin to neutralize [Turkish President] Erdogan, whose role has increased after the invasion of Ukraine. Second, to sign an alliance with Azerbaijan regarding [natural] gas. Thirdly, to punish Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan for leaving Moscow and getting closer to Europe. The result of that cynical turn is terrible at the humanitarian level. 120,000 Nagorno-Karabakh Armenians are desperately trying to flee to their homeland, and the vast majority of them have already gone there [to Armenia]. Others are hungry; they are persecuted and threatened [by Azerbaijan]. Their houses are abandoned or burned, their churches—destroyed. Ethnic cleansing continues. There is a danger to the lives of many of them... But the worst is ahead because the territorial integrity of Armenia may suffer.
"Vladimir Putin contributes to all this; having failed in Ukraine, he intends to take revenge in the Caucasus. He is determined to show that Armenia is in danger of disappearing without Russian control. Erdogan, who has not given up on his Ottoman dream, pushes Azerbaijan to go as far as possible in its action.
"As for the Europeans, they are sparing Baku so as not to lose the new source of supplies. The Americans do a lot to help Ukraine, but they may consider that the Caucasus is too far from them.
"Therefore, the time has come to declare decisively and convincingly that the borders of Armenia are sacred and they must be guaranteed. France should be at the forefront," said former French President Francois Hollande.
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