France on Saturday, November 28, assured that it will continue to call for protection of various cultural and religious sites in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, where Armenia and Azerbaijan fought a bloody battle for over a month until November 10. Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, secretary of state at the French Foreign Ministry, said that President Emmanuel Macron is committed in protecting religious sites in the Nagorno-Karabakh region and that his country is cooperating about the same with concerned organisations.
Lemoyne, who arrived in Armenia on Friday, November 27, delivered humanitarian aid and donations collected by the Aznavour Foundation, NGOs, and corporate foundations for the population of the Nagorno-Karabakh region. During his visit, Lemoyne said that Macron has been in regular touch with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, and has assured them that France is committed to peace in the region, including the protection of religious and cultural sites.
Russian President Vladimir Putin brokered peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan as Moscow oversaw the signing of a ceasefire agreement between the two Caucasus nations, which came into effect on November 10. Russian peacekeepers have been deployed in the Nagorno-Karabakh region to administer the ceasefire and peaceful transfer of territories ceded by Armenia to Azerbaijan.
The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan began on September 27 after months of skirmishes at the border leading to both countries declaring martial law and mobilisation of troops. The conflict was the worst since the 1994 ceasefire as an estimated 4,000-plus people, including soldiers and civilians died on both sides. Two Russian soldiers also died in the conflict, when the Azerbaijani side shot down their helicopter by mistake thinking it to be an Armenian military asset as it was flying in the latter’s airspace.
(Image Credit: AP)