Azerbaijani MP accuses PACE president of advocating Armenians’ attempts to deny occupation
Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr.18
By Seba Aghayeva - Trend:
Elkhan Suleymanov, member of Azerbaijani Delegation to PACE, has accused the Assembly's president of advocating the attempts of Armenians to deny the fact of occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and other Azerbaijani territories.
Suleymanov made these remarks in his letter of appeal to PACE President Anne Brasseur.
"I am perplexed by your press release entitled "PACE President welcomes Armenia's steady advancement on path of reform", as published under your name on the official PACE-website yesterday 15 April," said Suleymanov.
"In this press text you mention twice so-called "Nagorno-Karabakh conflict", in these wordings, whereas the PACE - organisation which you officially represent - repeatedly confirmed in its leading bodies to officially mention this so-called conflict as "the occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven other territories of Azerbaijan"," said the letter.
The Secretary-General Sawicki, as head of the PACE-administration being editor-in-chief of all PACE press texts, keeps denying clear decisions by PACE-bodies in this regard, said Elkhan Suleymanov.
"Until today, indeed all PACE press releases on this issue mention the Armenian formulation, not the PACE formulation (which is also complying with formulations by other international organizations!)," said the member of Azerbaijani Delegation to PACE.
The precise wordings of the title of a report on this issue were the object of a very intense and long-lasting debate within the PACE's Bureau, as every single word has indeed its political importance for all parties concerned in this delicate issue, he added.
Eventually the following formulation was adopted with large majority in the Bureau: "(Escalation of violence in)... Nagorno-Karabakh and the other occupied territories of Azerbaijan", Elkhan Suleymanov wrote.
"On 17 March in Paris an Armenian representative in the Monitoring Committee, as well as according to the information obtained from media, Armenian president, speaker of the parliament, and other officials during your official visit to Armenia between 13-15th April tried to reopen the debate, by attacking you and to change this formulation again, so-called 'simplifying' it into "The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict", precisely as you formulate in your press release!" Azerbaijani MP said in this letter of appeal.
"A similar Armenian attempt few weeks before in Strasbourg, within the Political Affairs Committee, was also turned down with an overwhelming majority," said the MP. "All these Armenian attempts in Bureau, Political Affairs Committee and Monitoring Committee to deny reality of armed occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and other Azerbaijani territories eventually only resulted in a waste of precious time and energy within these PACE bodies."
"But apparently you, as president of PACE, only you keep advocating publicly the Armenian thesis, going straight against clear decisions by all these leading PACE bodies," Suleymanov added.
Azerbaijani MP called on PACE president to have all future PACE press texts on this issue complying with the PACE Bureau's formulation.
He also called on Brasseur to overrule the secretary-general as editor-in-chief of PACE press releases, "who's aim is clearly to implement his private Armenian-inspired political agenda through these one-sided and incorrect press texts, thus affecting the good reputation of PACE."
The uniformity in PACE's political terminology, complying with official PACE decisions, is essential in this respect, according to Elkhan Suleymanov.
The letter of appeal was also sent to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland, all PACE Bureau members and the organization's Secretary General Wojciech Sawicki.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the US are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the UN Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
Follow the author on Twitter: @Asebaa