Anne Genetet, a member of the French National Assembly delegation now in Yerevan, has been criticized by many for her cozy relations with Baku.
A member of the French National Assembly since 2017, Genetet represents the Eleventh constituency for French residents overseas, including Armenia.
Genetet cancelled her scheduled visit to Armenia in November 2021, as part of the “Armenia-France” friendship group, at the last minute after being roundly criticized by Armenians and others for attending a Paris dinner-debate organized by the Azerbaijani embassy celebrating the “1st anniversary of the liberation of Karabakh”.
The embassy posted photos of the event. Genetet also publicized her presence at the event in a Twitter post showing her seated next to the Azerbaijani Ambassador to France.
The Tweet reads: Yesterday, I took part in a dinner-debate: “Karabakh at the time of peace: hope and challenges. What role for France?” with @AzAmbassadeFr. I will be going next week to Armenia. France must work for #peace and parliamentary diplomacy can contribute to this.
Genetet’s post drew serious public criticism. On November 11, 2021, she announced the postponement of her trip to Armenia and posted the following message:
“As a deputy of the 11th constituency of the French living outside France, which covers 49 countries, including Armenia and Azerbaijan, I am regularly called to have bilateral contacts, hoping that I will be able to create opportunities for multilateral contacts between all interested parties in Armenia and Azerbaijan …
On Tuesday, November 9, I participated in a dinner-debate with deputies of various political groups of the National Assembly at the invitation of the Embassy of Azerbaijan. “Karabakh at the time of peace. hopes and challenges”. My participation in this dinner entitled “what is the role of France” was not perceived correctly in the framework of our French community in Armenia and in the Armenian political and institutional world. I deeply regret this situation. I did not celebrate any anniversary.
Maintaining relations with Armenia and Azerbaijan, I want to participate in the process of dialogue and peace establishment at the parliamentary level for the sake of peace. I planned to go to Armenia from November 13 to 17 with a delegation of French parliamentarians to better understand the situation and discuss it directly with the local authorities, as well as with French people living in Armenia. Until now, I have not been to Azerbaijan.
My role as a parliamentarian is not to side with anyone, but to understand the situation and build bridges […] As such, it is of course important for me to be able to travel to these countries and meet with French communities and local authorities.”
In a June 2022 interview with Le Courrier d’Erevan, Genetet admitted her mistake of accepting Azerbaijan’s invitation on that sad day for Armenians and apologized for offending Armenians.
Hetq contacted Armenia’s National Assembly for clarification as to why Armenian National Speaker Alen Simonyan included Genetet in the list of French deputies invited to Armenia
Simonyan’s spokesperson, Tsovinar Khachatryan, said she wasn’t aware of Genetet’s Paris story, and that she’s generally “regarded as pro-Armenian, because Genetet not only voted in favor of the resolution of the French Parliament supporting Armenia and proposing sanctions against Azerbaijan, but also is one of its coauthors.
Genetet today paid her respects at Yerevan’s Armenian Genocide Memorial (see photo).