Old Caucasus hands often say that Armenia and Azerbaijan have more in common than they might care to admit. Long united in hatred for each other, the two foes now have a fresh bond to share -- they've both got reason to be thankful to France, albeit for different reasons.
The Armenian government did express regret over France discarding the law, but shied away from making any big, official statements with the horns blaring. “I don’t think it is correct to interfere with the process of decision-making of the French Constitutional Council,” Armenia’s Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian told Austria’s Der Standard newspaper. He and other officials in Yerevan put the development down to the alleged work of Turkish and Azerbaijani lobbyists.
Next up, Azerbaijan, which, as Turkey’s cousin and the official Armenia-foe-in-chief, had a supporting role in the genocide law drama, thanked all those French who prevented the law from going live. Extending gratitude to all of the bill's opponents, President Ilham Aliyev declared that the Constitutional Council’s decision was a defeat for “the Armenians of the world and a fiasco for the cunning work of the worldwide Armenian lobby.”
The upshot? While many outside observers may have heaved a sigh of relief with the French Constitutional Court's decision, the region's genocide recognition wars aren't over yet. Maybe some day it'll be the international community's turn to thank Azerbaijan, Armenia and Turkey for confronting their pasts frankly and moving on, but don't hold your breath.