Timed with the visit of French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna to Armenia on 3 October, I was pleased to join France24 for “The Debate,” with prominent analyst Laurent Leylekian, Professor Kavus Abushov from Baku’s ADA University, and reporting from southern Armenia, the insightful France24 Senior Correspondent Catherine Norris Trent.
The one-hour program, entitled “Who can Armenia count on? Yerevan angers Moscow and looks West,” focused on “the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh” after the forced exodus of more than 100,000 of its Armenian population fleeing for refuge across the border in Armenia.
French Foreign Minister Colonna is the first Western minister to visit Armenia since the Azerbaijani military against Nagorno-Karabakh and says that she came to Armenia “to reaffirm France’s support to Armenia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.” The senior French diplomat will also be “assessing Armenia's needs as it faces a huge influx of refugees, as well as the possible threat of Azerbaijani military operations on its territory.”
The France24 summary of the program goes on to assert that the “fear is compounded by the sense that France – and the West more generally – did not take a strong position on Nagorno-Karabakh, which could serve to embolden the Azerbaijani military if they decide to venture beyond their borders.