27 Sep 2023 20:02

France to appoint military attache in Yerevan, plans to open consulate in Syunik region

PARIS. Sept 27 (Interfax) - Paris plans to open a French consulate in Armenia's Syunik region and increase cooperation with Yerevan in the defense sector, French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said, according to a report published by Le Figaro on Wednesday.

"This is tangible evidence of France's support to Armenia," the media outlet quoted Colonna as saying.

"A military attache will be appointed to the French embassy in Yerevan," Colonna said.

Colonna insisted the European Union should strengthen its relations with Armenia, following France's example. "It should take it into consideration along with us and act in the interests of respect of Armenia's territory and preservation of the right of Karabakh Armenians to live with the observance of their historical rights in Nagorno-Karabakh," Colonna told the National Assembly.

According to Le Figaro, France, which has "very strong historical ties with Armenia," thus intends to "prevent an Azerbaijani invasion of the southern part of the country."

The paper reported that this concerns the Syunik region, through which the Azerbaijani authorities would like to make the Zangezur corridor (Syunik corridor) to ensure transport communication between the western regions of Azerbaijan and its exclave, the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. Turkey supports the project, as this transport corridor would connect Azerbaijan and Turkey to Central Asia.

Azerbaijan's military operation in Nagorno-Karabakh increased the suspicions of Europe, in particular, France, that Baku is nursing plans of a military invasion of the southern part of Armenia to make a direct corridor to Nakhchivan, Le Figaro reported.