No:07/18, Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov met with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian during his working visit to the French Republic
The Ministers expressed satisfaction with the development of bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and France and stressed the importance of high-level visits in further deepening of political relations.

The sides touched upon the settlement of Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Minister Elmar Mammadyarov briefed his counterpart on the latest status of the negotiation process on the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and stressed that the troops of Armenia should be withdrawn from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan in order to achieve progress in resolving the conflict in accordance with the demands of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. He emphasized that the current status quo is unacceptable and unstable, as the heads of state of the OSCE Minsk Group repeatedly stated. Referring to illegal actions committed by Armenia in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, E.Mammadyarov drew attention to the facts as the settlement of Armenians from Syria in the occupied territories, plundering and destruction of the cultural heritage of the Azerbaijani people and the construction of a church in Jabrayil, where Armenians never lived.

E.Mammadyarov said that Azerbaijan supports substantive, intensive and logical negotiations for a step-by-step settlement of the conflict, and added that the co-chairs will continue their joint efforts in this regard.

The Ministers praised the development of economic cooperation between Azerbaijan and France and underlined the importance of increasing the joint efforts to boost trade turn over between the two countries.

The ministers also pointed out the role of the Azerbaijan-France Economic Commission and positive input of holding regular meetings of the Commission in strengthening economic cooperation between the two countries.

Furthermore, Minister Mammadyarov noted that more than 50 French companies operate in Azerbaijan and talked about the French companies represented in oil and gas sector of Azerbaijan, such as Total Fina Elf, Total E & P Absheron and GDF Suez E & P. In this regard, he briefed his counterpart on the large-scale energy and infrastructure projects that Azerbaijan is the initiator and the participant.

Minister Mammadyarov said that the Government of Azerbaijan pays special attention to the development of the non-oil sector and underlined the importance of the development of ICT cooperation between the two countries, taking into account the fact that ICT sector is one of the key priorities for Azerbaijan and France has rich experience in the field of information and communication technologies. He recalled that Azerbaijan's first telecommunication satellite, Azerspace-1, was successfully launched into space from the French cosmodrome in February 2013 with the French Arianespace’s Ariane-5 missile, and added that in accordance with the signed contract with Arianespace the second Azerbaijani telecommunication satellite Azerspace-2 is expected to be launched into orbit at the beginning of 2018.

Ministers also exchanged views on the humanitarian cooperation, the expansion of the legal framework between the two countries, as well as issues of mutual interest of the international agenda.

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