France walks tightrope in Caucasus as Stoltenberg visits NATO partners

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is touring three Nato partner countries in the Caucasus, two of them divided by warfare - with two NATO member states backing each of the belligerents.

Stoltenberg started his three-day tour on Sunday in Azerbaijan, host of the upcoming Cop 29, the UN climate change summit.

In a joint press conference with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, he stressed the need to fight global warming, and called climate change a "crisis multiplier" with implications for global security.

Praising energy-rich Azerbaijan for its "important role in delivering (natural) gas to key NATO allies," Stoltenberg said "the challenge is that the world needs energy, but at the same time we need to fight global warming."

"We need to reconcile the need for energy and environment," he said, adding that "climate change matters for security, matters for NATO."

But he also mentioned the conflict with Armenia, saying that "there is now a possibility to achieve lasting peace" after Aliev said that both countries were "currently in the active phase of peace negotiations."

In September, Azerbaijan's army entered Nagorno-Kharabakh, an enclave that was self-ruled by the majority Armenian population, and after a short bombing campaign, drove out all Armenians, claiming the territory for itself.

France's Armenia puzzle

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