France’s quest for influence in South Caucasus is doomed to fail (OPINION)
by Naghi Ahmadov
The statement by French President Emmanuel Macron at the meeting with the members of Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Dashnaktsutyun Party in Marseille during his three-day visit caused a strong reaction in the Azerbaijani public. This message of French president is another open admission of his pro-Armenian approach and effort to satisfy the Armenian diaspora in France.
It is quite clear that one of the main reasons for Yerevan’s delay in signing the peace treaty document is directly related to France’s support for Armenia. Apparently, France’s position in the South Caucasus gives Armenia certain hopes that the situation may change in its favor in the future, otherwise it would have to sign the peace agreement immediately. And unfortunately, French President Macron gives moral and political support to Armenians with such statements in that respect.
In this regard, Macron’s statement which openly backs Armenia is directly related to the blocking of France’s participation in geopolitical processes in the South Caucasus. Undoubtedly, France’s stance of unilaterally picking a side in favor of Armenia resulted in her exclusion from the peace talks, which led to Washington and the European Union taking a leading role in this process.
Indeed, the fact that the president of a great country like France has stooped to such a low level to report to the Armenian diaspora should make all French people think about it and ask for an explanation what made President Macron, who is supposed to solve the country’s internal problems, act as the main international supporter of Armenian terrorism in the distant South Caucasus region.
Moreover, France’s posture during and after the 44-day war marks a stark contrast with that of its previous role of mediator as the Co-Chair of the former OSCE Minsk Group. More precisely, France tries to find a new role for itself in the South Caucasus where she intends to remain for a long time.
In the region concerned, this approach must take into consideration the fact that today Azerbaijan is not in a position of acceptance anyone’s dictate. Acknowledging this, we can plainly claim that new geopolitical reality created in the region after the second Karabakh war is the main factor preventing France’s efforts to influence Azerbaijan. However, it seems that Azerbaijan will evidently continue to give a military response to the armed provocations committed by Armenian terrorists. Baku declares that it has taken steps against Armenian terrorism within the framework of its sovereign right established by international legal norms.
In conclusion, over the last several years, French policy in the South Caucasus can be characterised as the pursuit of influence in the region. This confirms that France’s regional politics remain above all an instrument working towards the realisation of larger ambitions in its foreign policy. To explain this, especially all those statements by French president contributes to the blurring of his image and credibility of his country. In short, France’s desire for regional influence that could complicate things will unquestionably fail.
Naghi Ahmadov, a senior fellow at the Center of Analysis of International Relations (AIR Center), exclusively for News.Az