Thursday, February 28, 2013 1:15 pm
Azerbaijanis injured in fight at French parliament
The Associated Press
Azerbaijan and Armenia have been in conflict since 1988, over the disputed Caucasus Mountains territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.
The violent outburst occurred Tuesday in the National Assembly in Paris, during a conference commemorating the anniversary of violence against Armenians in 1988.
Two Azerbaijanis, a man and a woman, tried to interrupt the conference, saying they wanted to commemorate the anniversary of a 1992 massacre of Azerbaijanis. The Azerbaijani Embassy in Paris says the two were attacked and beaten by some of the pro-Armenia participants.
France's Foreign Ministry said Thursday it "regrets and condemns" the acts of violence committed inside the National Assembly.
The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry issued a statement criticizing French lawmakers for failing to stop the "brutal beating" of Azerbaijani activists. It blamed "the Armenian lobby and its sponsors" for the violence and voiced hope that French authorities will punish those responsible for the beating the woman, a French citizen of Azerbaijani origin, and an Azerbaijani student.
In Azerbaijan's capital, Baku, about 100 student activists protested near the French Embassy, holding placards with slogans such as "Shame on France!" and "For Justice!"