Jan. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Azerbaijan condemned the French Senate’s approval of legislation making it a crime to deny that the mass killing of Armenians early last century was genocide.
The move may “undermine France’s participation in some developments in the region,” the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said in an emailed statement today. The ruling Yeni Azerbaijan party called on France to withdraw from co-chairmanship of the so-called Minsk Group, which mediates in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, because it has lost its credibility as an honest broker, the APA news agency reported.
French oil company Total SA has a 10 percent stake in the BP Plc-led Shah Deniz natural-gas development. Total is also developing the Absheron field, which holds some 350 billion cubic meters of gas.
Azerbaijan has close ethnic and political ties with neighboring Turkey, which vowed to fight the French measure, risking a further round of Turkish sanctions and deterioration in relations.
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--With assistance from Henry Meyer in Moscow. Editor: Hellmuth Tromm.
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