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Story gone: French media pressured over Upper Karabakh?

PARIS

A French TV channel has removed a story from its website about the conflict over Upper Karabakh or Nagorno-Karabakh, a piece of Azerbaijani territory illegally occupied by Armenia for nearly 30 years.

The two-minute TV channel TF1 story “Nagorno-Karabakh: Interview at the front line” contained images of efforts to liberate the occupied territory.

The story showed footage of the progress of the Azerbaijani army in liberating its land and identified Armenian forces in Nagorno-Karabakh as “separatists.”

It also contained details such as houses destroyed by attacks from the Armenian army and the loss of civilian lives as well as farm animals.

The story also included an interview with an Azerbaijani soldier who said they are in good spirits and have military superiority.

Another soldier said Armenian soldiers laid down their weapons and fled.

The story showed Azerbaijani civilians carrying Turkish flags and thanking Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his continued support.

Turkish Ambassador to France Ismail Hakki Musa had praised the story and thanked TF1 for their unbiased and impartial coverage.

“A courageous initiative which dethrones Armenian propaganda,” he called the story, before it was removed without notice or explanation.

Upper Karabakh conflict

Relations between the two former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Upper Karabakh, an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan.

Since fresh clashes erupted on Sept. 27, Armenia has repeatedly attacked Azerbaijani civilians and forces, even violating two humanitarian cease-fires in the past two weeks.

Four UN Security Council resolutions and two from the UN General Assembly, as well as international organizations, demand the withdrawal of Armenian forces from the occupied territory.

In total, about 20% of Azerbaijan’s territory – including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions – has been under illegal Armenian occupation for nearly three decades.

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group – co-chaired by France, Russia, and the US – was formed in 1992 to find a peaceful solution to the conflict, but to no avail. A cease-fire, however, was agreed to in 1994.

World powers, including Russia, France, and the US, have called for a new and lasting cease-fire. Turkey, meanwhile, has supported Baku’s right to self-defense and demanded the withdrawal of Armenia’s occupying forces.

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