French MP: Pressure exerted on me further strengthened my relations with Azerbaijan

Mon 11 December 2017 06:23 GMT | 06:23 Local Time

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"I was accompanying the former French president Francois Hollande during his trips to the countries of the South Caucasus."

"These were the trips to Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia. But I refused to travel to Armenia."

French MP Andre Villiers told Report that from that time he started defending Azerbaijan:

"I travelled on the same board with the president. I told Francois Hollande that I don't want to visit Yerevan and got off in Baku. Then we met in Tbilisi.

"I was building ties of friendship and cooperation with Azerbaijan. I did not take any steps that would undermine my relations with Azerbaijan. I did not want to lose that country's trust. I am devoted to that friendship."

Villiers noted that in his first visit to Azerbaijan he was a senator:

"Upon my return to France I got a letter from the Association of Armenia's friends. They rudely demanded me to explain the reason of my trip to Azerbaijan. I certainly do not have to report anyone about my trip. I am free to visit any country I want. The pressure exerted on me made me even closer to Azerbaijan. I further strengthened my friendship with this country. It allowed me to better understand the situation in which Azerbaijan finds itself. From that day I started defending this country."

The MP said that Azerbaijan is a young country:

"I am against criticizing young countries. It is necessary to support them. Throughout a short period of time, this country has made successful steps in human rights development. The progress achieved by Azerbaijan over the recent years is obvious. Naturally, much is yet to be done.

"Time is needed for young states to develop. I very much appreciate that Azerbaijan cancelled capital punishment 20 years ago and granted suffrage to women just 100 years ago."




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