France Accuses Azerbaijan of Foreign Interference in New Caledonia Protests

France has accused Azerbaijan of foreign interference in the ongoing protests and rioting in the French territory of New Caledonia over a recent change to voting rights, which has triggered a state of emergency and the deployment of military forces to bolster security.

The accusations also come as relation between France and Azerbaijan continue to sour, largely over Paris’ increased military and political support with Armenia and opposition against Azerbaijan’s recapture of the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

What Was Said

While speaking on the French talk show Télématin, French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin claimed that “I regret that some of the separatists have made a deal with Azerbaijan,” adding that “Even if there are attempts at interference… France is sovereign on its own territory.”

Likewise, a French intelligence official told Politico that “we’ve detected activities from Russia and Azerbaijan in New Caledonia for weeks, even a few months. They’re pushing the narrative of France being a colonialist state.”

The accusations come as New Caledonian protestors have been seen waving Azerbaijani flags.

Azerbaijan Denies Claims

Baku quickly denied the allegations, with Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesman Aykhan Hajizada calling Darmanin’s statements “insulting expressions against Azerbaijan” and that France should “stop the smear campaign against Azerbaijan with unacceptable accusations, such as the massacre of Armenians.”

“It would be more appropriate if the French Minister of the Interior recalled the history of his country committing crimes against humanity toward local peoples and the brutal murder of millions of innocent people as part of its colonial policy implemented for many years.”

“Instead of accusing Azerbaijan of allegedly supporting pro-independence protests in New Caledonia, the Minister of the Interior of France should focus on his country’s failed policy towards the overseas territories that led to such protests,” he added.

What’s Happening in New Caledonia?

The accusations come as France deployed military forces to New Caledonia, located in the South Pacific, amid widespread protests and rioting that has triggered a state of emergency and a ban of the social media app TikTok.

The rioting followed a French National Assembly voted to change the New Caledonian constitution, allowing for French residents to be able to vote in provincial elections after living on the island for 10 years. Opponents of the change, largely among the New Caledonia independence movement, say that the bill will weaken the vote of indigenous residents.

So far, riots and looting have killed four people, including a French gendarme, and hundreds have been injured since Monday.

Atlas
Atlashttp://theatlasnews.co
Unbiased & Unfiltered News Reporting for 12+ years. Covering Geo-Political conflicts, wartime events, and vital Breaking News from around the world. Editor-In-Chief of Atlas News.

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