Valérie Pécresse, traveling to Athens for her campaign, denounced supposed « threats » from the Azerbaijani president. The latter had criticized the LR candidate for having gone “secretly” to the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Valérie Pécresse denounced on January 14 during a trip to Greece the « threats » of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliev, after a trip to Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.
The candidate for the Les Républicains presidential party thus denounced to the press the « seriousness of this threat to a presidential candidate who would not be free to go where she wants » and judged « the deafening silence of the French government very shocking”.
These threats do not intimidate me and I would have liked a solemn response from the French government to this threat.
« These threats do not intimidate me and I would have liked a solemn response from the French government to this threat from a foreign head of state on a French presidential candidate, » she also said.
Valérie Pécresse had gone to Armenia before Christmas, shortly after the passage of the radical right candidate, Eric Zemmour, for a visit intended to illustrate her support for Eastern Christians in this Caucasus country. She was notably accompanied by the former European Commissioner and former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Michel Barnier, one of her campaign advisers.
Azerbaijani president accuses him of having “secretly” visited the Nagorno-Karabakh region
In an interview on January 12 with local media, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev criticized Valérie Pécresse and Michel Barnier for having gone « secretly » on this occasion to the Nagorno-Karabakh region, at the center of a conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan which claimed more than 6,500 lives.
Nagorno-Karabakh is a predominantly Armenian-populated region of Azerbaijan, which declared independence on September 2, 1991 – but has not been recognized by any member of the UN.
“In case of illegal visits [au Karabakh], we officially express our dissatisfaction with the Russian side,” he added, as Russia is in charge of peacekeeping operations in the region. And to deplore: “We were told “we didn’t see anything, we didn’t know, we didn’t pay attention” […] but we can’t believe [cette version des faits] […]. In this case, it was an organized visit.”
« If we had known they were there, obviously we wouldn’t have let them back. [en Arménie]. The Lachin Corridor [route reliant l’Arménie et le Karabakh] is under our control. We can stop any car there and nobody can tell us anything,” added Ilham Aliyev.
Valérie Pécresse began a trip to Greece on January 14, where she is to visit a closed camp for migrants and asylum seekers on the island of Samos on the 15th.