PARIS (News.az)—French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Thursday called on Armenia and Azerbaijan to come to a quick agreement on the basic principles of a Nagorno-Karabakh settlement proposed by the OSCE Minsk Group, AFP reported.
The French president made his remarks during a luncheon in honor of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, who was in France on an official visit. The two leaders met earlier in the day for talks on economic cooperation, energy, and regional security.
According to News.az, Sarkozy welcomed what he described to be the “positive dynamic” of the negotiations, referring to the six meetings held between the Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents this year.
The French president also underscored the importance of Iran’s full adherence to its international commitments and called on President Aliyev to use his influence on Iranian officials.
Sarkozy thanked Azerbaijan for its support in Afghanistan as part of the International Security Assistance Force, working under NATO.
The two presidents also expressed their desire to strengthen relations and develop the French-Azeri “strategic partnership,” News.az said. To that end, the French president said he saw a potential to improve economic relation and that France wanted to increase trade with Azerbaijan, which he described as France’s “leading trade partner in the Caucasus.”
He appreciated Azerbaijan’s role in the energy security of Europe, stressing French support for the Nabucco pipeline which will pump gas from the Caspian region to Europe.