Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan is set to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron today on the sidelines of the 18th La Francophonie summit in Djerba, Tunisia.
France has played a crucial role in mediating conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, especially after the recent Azerbaijani incursions into Armenia’s eastern territory in mid-September. Today’s meeting with Pashinyan comes after Macron spoke to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev over the phone earlier in the week.
Expect a concerted effort by France and the EU towards exerting influence over territorial conflicts in the Caucasus. Evidence for this can be seen at a recent summit in Prague which included the leaders of Armenia, France, Azerbaijan and the European Council and resulted in the establishment of an EU monitoring mission in Armenia. Moreover, the French Senate passed a resolution condemning Azerbaijani troop presence in the disputed Artsakh region and advocated for economic sanctions against Baku.
While Paris hopes the EU mission will have a stabilizing effect, Moscow may interpret it as a sign of creeping Western presence in its sphere of influence. This is especially likely since Russia holds military bases in the country and helped Armenia mediate a ceasefire in the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war.
Ali is a Copy-Editor and Analyst on Daily Brief team, contributing regularly to the Daily Brief. He also leads the Foreign Brief Week in Review multimedia team. He focuses on political and development issues in the Middle East and North Africa.