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French school to close in Baku amidst diplomatic tensions

19 April 2024
Baku French Lyceum. Image via the school’s website.

A French school in Baku is closing, as tensions between France and Azerbaijan rise. 

The Baku French Lyceum (BFL) will cease to function from the end of the current school year. 

The Lyceum’s education advisor, Gulshan Naghizade, told OC Media that the decision was driven in part by an order from the Education Ministry, but also in part by a decision of the school’s founder. 

Information about the school’s closing was first published on Friday in pro-government outlet Report.az

On Tuesday, France recalled its ambassador to Azerbaijan, with Paris accusing Baku of damaging their bilateral relations. 

While rumours had been circulating suggesting that the private school would soon close in light of rising tensions, the news was only confirmed on Friday, with parents reportedly receiving a letter announcing the school’s closure.

The Lyceum allowed French-speaking foreign citizens in Azerbaijan as well as Azerbaijani citizens to study in French, with the school’s graduates able to go on to study in French higher education institutions. 


A statement of intent to build a French secondary school was signed in March 2011 by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, the French Embassy in Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan’s State Oil Company, and the Ministry of Education. 

Three years later, President Ilham Aliyev and then-French President Francois Hollande inspected the school’s construction, with Aliyev taking part in the school’s opening in September 2014. 

According to Report.az, around 200 children are currently enrolled at the school.

Read in Georgian on On.ge.