The President of the French region of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Laurent Wauquiez, visited on Friday the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) in Yerevan, Armenia. Wauquiez met with the Foreign Minister of Artsakh Sergey Ghazaryan at the representation. The leadership of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of France will send humanitarian aid to Artsakh together with local Armenian organizations, Wauquiez stated.
“The convoy will be organized with our region’s support and will bear our region’s flag. It will approach the Lachin Corridor and we will demand passage to Artsakh. Either the convoy will pass and we will have a ray of hope, or the convoy will be barred and it will give us the opportunity to present this issue before international and European organizations, that once again the international law is being violated, and that actions must be taken,” Wauquiez said.
Laurent Wauquiez reminded that two days ago he was at the beginning of the Lachin Corridor, where he got to know the situation personally, and noted that hours after his visit there, the Azerbaijani armed forces took control of new territories.
“I was with the Governor of Syunik the moment he was notified that an advance had taken place the day before where we were located at that time [Tegh village]. I have witnessed and can testify about the violation of international law. I have also seen the Azerbaijani flags hoisted on the heights located in Armenian lands. And I had the chance to speak with displaced persons of Artsakh, whose words were deeply touching. As a politician, it is my duty to take action and be able to help you,” he said.
The Lachine Corridor must be opened immediately and it is the responsibility of the international community to respond accordingly, Laurent Wauquiez noted. The French official described Europe's decision not to give up Azerbaijani gas as incomprehensible.
“Why weren’t there any consequences for what happened, why are there no sanctions against the Aliyev regime? I share these questions with you and I am equally angered,” Wauquiez said.
He reminded that in 2019, he met with representatives of Artsakh and signed a cooperation agreement between his region and Artsakh. A similar agreement was signed with Syunik a few days ago.
“Artsakh’s fate is closely linked with Syunik’s fate, while Syunik is the key to Armenia’s integrity. Whoever attacks Syunik attacks Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. We’d adopted a political position in my region to confirm Artsakh’s right to independence, which led to serious pressures by Pan-Turkist terrorist organizations against me and my family,” Wauquiez stated.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Artsakh Sergey Ghazaryan thanked his colleague for standing by the people of Artsakh at a difficult time.
“I am sure that cooperation with Artsakh will deepen, and with God's help, as a result of the common struggle, we will have the opportunity to host Mr. President in Artsakh,” Ghazaryan said.
The President of the French region of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes also had a closed meeting with the displaced Artsakh citizens as a result of the 44-day war.