France announces the expulsion of two Azerbaijani diplomats as a “measure of reciprocity”

Tension continues to rise between Paris and Baku

France announces the expulsion of two Azerbaijani diplomats as a “measure of reciprocity”

Tension continues to rise between Paris and Baku. France has decided to expel two Azerbaijani diplomats as a “measure of reciprocity” after Baku’s decision on Tuesday to declare “persona non grata” two French diplomats, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Wednesday (December 27).

Paris “categorically refutes the allegations presented by Azerbaijan to justify its decision” concerning French diplomats, accused without further details of having carried out activities “incompatible with their status”, according to a press release.

Azerbaijan's ambassador to France, Leyla Abdullayeva, was summoned to the Quai d'Orsay on Wednesday "to be informed of these elements", French diplomacy said. On Tuesday, Baku expressed in a press release "a firm protest against the actions of two employees of the French embassy incompatible with their diplomatic status", giving them forty-eight hours to leave the country.

In recent months, Azerbaijan has accused France of “destabilizing” the Caucasus by providing aid to Armenia, a rival of Baku of which it is a historical supporter. In November, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev accused Paris of encouraging “new wars” by arming Yerevan, and refused to attend a European summit in Granada, Spain, in October, as well as to participate in a meeting with the French president, Emmanuel Macron, claiming that he had biased positions in favor of the Armenians.

Baku and Yerevan recently announced their desire to normalize their relations and assure that a peace agreement could be signed soon, but the talks are making little progress.