September 19, 2012 - 14:40 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Paris earlier hosted a meeting between French President Francois Hollande and his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliye, with Nagorno Karabakh conflict settlement and Baku’s illegal pardoning of Azeri criminal Ramil Safarov on the agenda.
In a statement after the meeting at the Elysee Palace, Hollande said he had "called on Azerbaijan to take the necessary measures to re-establish a climate of confidence with Armenia" in order to pursue peace talks.
More than 2000 gathered in front of the Azerbaijan’s embassy in Paris Tuesday, Sept 18 to protest Azeri President Aliyev’s visit to France, according to Asbarez.
Earlier in the day, Aliyev met with French President Francois Hollande, who told him to work hard to restore Armenia’s confidence and pursue the Nagorno Karabakh peace process within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group, reported the official presidential Web site.
The protesters called on the French government to press Aliyev to immediately incarcerate Ramil Safarov, the axe-murderer who killed Armenian soldier Gurgen Margaryan in 2004 during a NATO Partnership for Peace mission in Budapest.
Bureau of the Armenian Cause in France (BFCA/ANC France) executive director Hratch Varjabedian reported that several French Parliament members representing the entire French political spectrum turned out for the protest and joined their voices with French-Armenian community.
The demonstration and the Armenian community’s opposition to Aliyev’s visit was widely covered by the French press.
Ramil Safarov, the Azerbaijani army officer who was serving a life sentence in Hungary for axing to death Armenian Lt. Gurgen Margaryan, was extradited to Azerbaijan and pardoned by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.
Official Yerevan reacted by suspending diplomatic ties with Hungary.
Hungary, however, states that it had sent Safarov back to Azerbaijan after receiving assurances from the Azerbaijani Justice Ministry that Safarov's sentence, which included the possibility of parole after 25 years, would be enforced.
According to some reports, Safarov was extradited to Azerbaijan in exchange for Azeri purchase of Hungarian securities worth Euro 2-3 billion, an information official Budapest denies.
“Hungarian prime minister is “morally bankrupt” and should resign after admitting that he personally approved the transfer of the Azeri axe murderer while knowing the likely consequences,” the leader of the opposition Socialists said earlier.
Attila Mesterhazy said it was clear from Orban’s comments at a news conference on Tuesday September 11 that he had been aware that Azerbaijan would release the life-sentenced Ramil Safarov after his repatriation.