Macron slams Erdogan’s ‘reckless, dangerous’ statements on Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict

French President Emmanuel Macron attends a press conference. (File/AFP)
Short Url
Updated 01 October 2020

Macron slams Erdogan’s ‘reckless, dangerous’ statements on Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict

  • Macron condemned Turkey’s statements backing Azerbaijan in its bid to take back the breakaway region of Nagorny Karabakh
  • Armenia and Azerbaijan have been locked for decades in a territorial dispute over Karabakh

JEDDAH: French President Emmanuel Macron lashed out on Wednesday at Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s “reckless and dangerous” backing of Azerbaijan’s attempt to retake the breakaway region of Nagorny-Karabakh.

Echoing earlier remarks by the Turkish president, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday that Turkey would “do what is necessary” if Azerbaijan asked for military support in the conflict with Armenia.

“I have noted Turkey’s political statements, which I think are reckless and dangerous,” Macron said.

“France remains extremely concerned about the warlike comments that Turkey made … which essentially remove any inhibitions from Azerbaijan in what would be a reconquest of northern Karabakh. That we will not accept.”

HIGHLIGHT

Armenia and Azerbaijan blame each other for fierce clashes that erupted on Sunday and have caused nearly 100 deaths.

He also appeared to voice support for Yerevan: “I say to Armenia and to the Armenians, France will play its role.”

But Macron also said it was too soon to speak of a regional conflict.

He said he would discuss the tensions with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday evening and US President Donald Trump on Thursday before reporting on the situation to the European Council of EU leaders.

Armenia and Azerbaijan blame each other for fierce clashes that erupted on Sunday and have caused nearly 100 deaths. Armenian media said three civilians were killed and several wounded by shelling on Wednesday in Martakert.

One person was killed and three wounded by Armenian fire on Horadiz in southern Azerbaijan, the Azeri prosecutor’s office said, raising Azeri civilian deaths to 15.

Azerbaijan released footage showing smoke rising from inside Nagorno-Karabakh as it was pounded by Azeri artillery. Photographs taken in the Azeri town of Terter showed people taking cover in dugouts, and buildings damaged by Armenian shells.

Azerbaijan said ethnic Armenian forces attempted to recover lost ground by launching counterattacks in the direction of Madagiz, but Azeri forces repelled the attack.

Armenia said the Azeri army had been shelling the whole front line during the night.


Study finds AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine follows genetic instructions

Updated 22 October 2020

Study finds AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine follows genetic instructions

  • Bristol University virology expert David Matthews: The vaccine is doing everything we expected and that is only good news in our fight against the illness
  • AstraZeneca, which is developing the vaccine with Oxford University researchers, is seen as a frontrunner in the race to produce a vaccine to protect against COVID-19

LONDON: AstraZeneca’s Oxford COVID-19 vaccine accurately follows the genetic instructions programmed into it by its developers to successfully provoke a strong immune response, according to a detailed analysis carried out by independent UK scientists.
“The vaccine is doing everything we expected and that is only good news in our fight against the illness,” said David Matthews, an expert in virology from Bristol University, who led the research.
AstraZeneca, which is developing the vaccine with Oxford University researchers, is seen as a frontrunner in the race to produce a vaccine to protect against COVID-19.
The first data from late-stage large-scale clinical trials being conducted in several countries around the world, including Brazil, the United States and Britain, are expected to be released before the end of the year.
The vaccine — known either as ChAdOx1 or AZD1222 — is made by taking a common cold virus called an adenovirus from chimpanzees and deleting about 20% of the virus’s instructions. This means it is impossible for the vaccine to replicate or cause disease in humans.
The Bristol researchers’ focus was to assess how often and how accurately the vaccine is copying and using the genetic instructions programmed into it by its designers. These instructions detail how to make the spike protein from the coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19.
Once the spike protein is made, the immune system reacts to it, training the immune system to identify a real COVID-19 infection.
“This is an important study as we are able to confirm that the genetic instructions underpinning this vaccine ... are correctly followed when they get into a human cell,” Matthews said in a statement about the work.
His team’s research was not peer reviewed by other scientists, but was published as a preprint before review.