12:53 GMT26 October 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The deputies of the Ecology Democracy Solidarity parliamentary group in France's National Assembly have called on Prime Minister Jean Castex to suspend arms export to Azerbaijan and Armenia amid the ongoing hostiles in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

    "The Group Ecology. Democracy. Solidarity calls on the Prime Minister to immediately suspend the sale of weapons to countries involved in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," lawmakers said in a communique provided by the group's press-service.

    They also noted that the international law prohibits exporting weapons to states that could use them against civilians, while military clashes in the unrecognized Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh have killed dozens of peaceful residents.

    According to the deputies, the prime minister is responsible for issuing permits for the weapons sales via the interdepartmental commission for the study of military equipment exports through the Secretariat-General for National Defence and Security, which also reports to the prime minister.

    "The conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh highlighted the setbacks of the French policy on arms exports. In 2019, France sold 190 million euros worth of weapons to Azerbaijan, when at the same time Canada banned [arms] deliveries due to the current situation and in accordance with the Arms Trade Treaty, to which France also joined," the group added.

    Clashes on the contact line in Karabakh broke out on September 27, with Armenia and Azerbaijan accusing each other of initiating military actions. Nagorno-Karabakh has seen instances of artillery shelling of its peaceful settlements, including the capital of Stepanakert. 

    Yerevan has declared a state of war and announced a general mobilization for the first time, while Baku has also declared partial mobilization.

    The recent 10-hour negotiations between the foreign ministers of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan held in Moscow have yielded a ceasefire between the opposing sides starting October 10 to exchange prisoners and the bodies of those killed and discuss additional details of the truce.  However, hostilities resumed after a short lull. 

    Tags:
    weapons, Jean Castex, Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan, Armenia, France
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