Paris has repeatedly demonstrated its pro-Armenian stance by supporting the Armenian radical nationalists and their anti-Azerbaijani and anti-Turkish statements. The leading French media have recently been stuffed with provocative articles targeting Azerbaijan.
The French newspaper Le Monde especially distinguished itself by publishing in December 2022 an opus about the latest eco-protests of Azerbaijani activists on the Khankandi-Lachin road.
The well-known newspaper ‘forgot’ to tell the whole truth and groundlessly accused Azerbaijan of creating a ‘humanitarian catastrophe.’ The newspaper also stated that Azerbaijan allegedly ‘occupied’ the Lachin road, preferring to ignore the fact that humanitarian cargo and ambulances were passing along it unimpeded, and eco-activists oppose the plunder of Azerbaijan’s resources and damage to the environment. For Le Monde, it was apparently more important to fulfill the order, without going a bit deeper into the issue.
Azerbaijan's Ambassador to France Leyla Abdullayeva responded to this with a brief tweet: “Karabakh, including the Lachin road is Azerbaijan’s sovereign territory. Karabakh Armenians are considered citizens of Azerbaijan. Universal values, moral duty and honor require you to support the peace efforts of Azerbaijan!”
Charlie Hebdo, a well-known publication with rather controversial content, did not stand aside, either. Harsh statements against Azerbaijan and Turkiye make one think about what this publication is broadcasting through its cartoons.
Obviously lies and slander. In a note dated January 3 this year, the publication expresses sympathy for the Armenians because of the so-called Armenian genocide, accusing Azerbaijan and Turkiye of intending to create a ‘political and geographical continuum’ in the region.
What caused such negative and one-sided publications in the French media? French historian and political scientist Maxime Gauin, commenting on this issue, said that there are few journalists in France who are fanatically on the side of Armenia, and some of them (Gaid Minasian, Valerie Toranian, etc.) are of Armenian origin. There are others like Jean-Christophe Buisson, deputy editor of the well-known French publication Le Figaro, who take an openly pro-Armenian position.
"In July-September 2022, for example, the cries of the Armenian nationalists were ineffective in convincing the vast majority of the French media to cover them, and you could see the impotent fury of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) on Facebook. Also, the Armenian nationalists lost their ‘combat’ base in France, their demonstrations are ridiculously small since at least 2007," he said.
At the same time, according to Gauin, the problem is that there are no answers to the statements of Armenian nationalists, only they speak. "Your embassy expressed its opinion on Twitter; a small number of French Azerbaijanis sent letters to journalists they had never met (or even tried to meet) - and that's (almost) all," he noted, adding that more attention should be paid to communications, to do everything so that the voice of Azerbaijan is heard in the French media.
The expert also added that such biased articles should not be fully identified with the official position of Paris. After all, all calls for sanctions against Azerbaijan last year proved to be ineffective.