Interview of the Western European Bureau of Report with a member of the France-Azerbaijan Friendship Group in the French National Assembly, Vice-Chairman of the Social Affairs Committee Jean-Pierre Doré.

– How long have you been in the friendship group and how do you evaluate the activities of this inter-parliamentary structure?

– As you know, the friendship group operates under the auspices of the French National Assembly. I am a member since 2012. The activities of the group allow bringing together the public of our countries, getting to know each other better. We held meetings and discussions on various topics, as well as we discussed the democratic development of France, not only in Paris, but also in Baku. I am also a member of Association of Friends of Azerbaijan in France.

– Could you please share your thoughts on the current turn of development of relations between France and Azerbaijan …

– Our bilateral relations are successfully developing in the field of culture, sport, economics, education. I was lucky enough to visit the French Lyceum in Baku, the foundation of which was laid by ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy, and opened by another ex-president – Francois Hollande. Of course, we cooperate in the scientific field. Relations between our professors and scholars of Azerbaijan are successfully developing. Along with this, economic ties are successfully developing between countries. The activities of French companies in your country are a good example.

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– Slanderous articles about Azerbaijan are often published in the French press …

– In France, as well as in other countries, the media do not always take to a fair position. Sometimes you have to face a lie and falsehood. Being in Baku, we discussed these moments. Our press is really biased against some countries.

– How, in your opinion, to reach out to the French public and bring the realities about Azerbaijan to their attention?

– We must develop our bilateral cooperation and mutual relations. There are few countries like Azerbaijan that develop the traditions of multiculturalism. There is even a special state structure in your country. During the visit to Baku, we were told in detail about the government events held in this area. I think Azerbaijan’s experience in the field of multiculturalism should be carefully studied.

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– In your opinion, does the Armenian lobby in France influence the formation of a negative opinion about Azerbaijan?

– Of course, the Armenian lobby plays a direct role in this. But we try not to interfere with these issues. France also had conflicts with other countries, so we do not have the right to teach anyone.

– What can you say about the signing of the “Charter of Friendship” by French cities with the separatist regime in Nagorno-Karabakh?

– My city is not involved in this. The friendship group does not interfere in the internal affairs of states. The parties themselves must resolve conflicts between themselves. The Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict should be resolved between the parties at the diplomatic level. A commission of inquiry was formed in the French National Assembly. I was part of this commission. At that time, we decided not to interfere with such questions. For the same reason, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Assembly also left the investigation team.

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– What impressed you most in Azerbaijan?

– I first discovered your country three years ago. I was struck by the hospitality of the Azerbaijanis, their kind attitude towards everyone, regardless of their faith and nationality. Since gaining independence, Azerbaijan has achieved incredible economic progress. Azerbaijan is moving forward and demonstrates openness to other countries, especially Europe.