Recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh’s independence: expert on Armenian community’s demands prior to France presidential campaign

13:15 • 25.09.16



Prior to the presidential election in France, the local Armenian community should decide on its demands, Kayts Minasyan, an expert for a French center for strategic research, told Tert.am.

“The candidates to be nominated by the right- and left-wing parties have not yet been named. But the major candidates have been named - Marine Le Pen, nominated by a radical right-wing political force. It is not yet clear if Nicolas Sarkozy will be nominated by the Republicans. The same can be said about François Hollande, but both are being talked about much,” Mr Minasyan said.

With respect to the issues of importance for the local Armenian community, he noted that France has officially recognized the Armenian Genocide, and the French Senate is now expected to adopt a resolution penalizing the denial of the Armenian Genocide.

“If it happens, the Armenians should demand recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh by France as well. In the case of Nagorno-Karabakh, recognition of its independence is a priority. And the candidates are likely to show their real attitude to the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh’s independence during the election campaign,” Mr Minasyan said.

On the threshold of elections, Turkey-France and France-Russia-Turkey relations will be outlined.

“It will also have its impact on the French-Armenian community and Armenians-related issues,” the expert said.

Three political schools are working in France: the pro-government school, Gaullism and Neo-conservatism.

“The first objects to Turkey’s accession to the European Union and does not attach importance to the issue of national minorities. The second attaches importance to development of relations with Turkey and to friendly relations with all other states. The third attaches importance to good relations with all states. The most important is that, taking this all into account, the Armenian community should build up its relations with the three political schools,” Mr Minasyan said.

Speaking of the candidates’ preferences, he said:

“François Hollande, who represents the left-wing political forces, will always lay emphasis on the Armenian Genocide and be involved in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process. He is seeking peace between Armenian and Azerbaijanis. Maintaining good relations with Turkey is of importance for France. François Hollande opened a new chapter in Turkey’s relations with the European Union.”

With respect to Marine Le Pen, Mr Minasyan said she objects to Turkey’s membership in the European Union.

“Since she objects to national minorities in France, we can say she will not be concerned with Armenians-related issues. She does not say anything about Nagorno-Karabakh. She is pro-Russian and has now turned to a Russian bank for financing her election campaign,” Mr Minasyan said.

As regards the Republicans, Nicolas Sarkozy is a pro-Armenian candidate and does not stand well with Turkey.

“He is pro-Russian, but we do not know what he thinks about Nagorno-Karabakh. He is most likely to seek a balance between Armenia and Azerbaijan,” Mr Minasyan said.

One more candidate is Alain Juppé, who is known to be a pro-Turkish political figure.

“But he recently stated Turkey could not be a member of the European Union. He is agaist national minorities and is rather serious about Nagorno-Karabakh’s independence. But we do not know about his attitude to Nagorno-Karabakh,” Mr Minasyan said.

Prior to the presidential election, the Armenian community is making steps to promote its interests.

“The Armenian Revolutionary Federation Dashnaktsutyun (ARF-D) party is in close relations with François Hollande. And Dashnkatsutyun is most likely to monitor the election process,” Mr Minasyan said.

He is sure that the Armenian community can influence the presidential campaign in France.

“Armenians must have their strategy, and we are ready to support the candidate that will recognize Nagorno-Karabakh’s independence both prior to and after the election campaign. A pledge is an important thing,” Mr Minasyan said.

Hripsime Hovhannisyan





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