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Turkey accuses France of bias over Senate motion to recognize an independent Nagorno-Karabakh

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Turkey has accused France of bias after a recent resolution adopted by French lawmakers called on the government to recognize Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed enclave on Azerbaijani soil, as an independent republic.

“This decision of the French Senate is a clear indicator of why the [Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe] OSCE Minsk Group, led by co-chairs that have to be impartial, has provided no solution while being biased,” Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The French Senate on Wednesday passed the resolution, which also called on Azerbaijan to withdraw from the Nagorno-Karabakh region, with 305 senators out of 306 present voting for the motion.

“[The Senate] urges the French government to recognize the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and use this recognition as a tool in talks to establish lasting peace,” the resolution noted.

French Secretary of State Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne said that “unilateral recognition of Karabakh will do no good for anyone” and will not help mediation efforts, reminding that France, a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, backs implementation of a ceasefire agreement reached on November 9.

The resolution is non-binding.

“The resolution adopted yesterday by the French Senate on the Upper Karabakh dispute is a case in point that disregards the most basic principles of international law, legitimacy and equity for the sake of domestic political concerns,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said.

The Turkish defense minister also denounced the resolution, saying the move demonstrated that “France is part of the problem not the solution in the Karabakh issue.”

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan tweeted his thanks, while Azerbaijan has condemned the French Senate vote.

The former Soviet republics of Azerbaijan and Armenia have been at odds since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.

Renewed clashes that erupted on Sept. 27 ended with a Russian-brokered truce six weeks later.

The clashes resulted in Azerbaijan seizing some of the territories it had lost at the beginning of the conflict some 30 years ago. Azerbaijan will gain full control of the region, the truce stipulates.

According to observers, the Azerbaijani military success contrasted with earlier escalations in the conflict and was partly the result of the considerable support extended by Turkey.

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