Statement: Overlooking Karabakh conflict is harmful for reputation of EaP CSF

Statement: Overlooking Karabakh conflict is harmful for reputation of EaP CSF

Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov.25

By Leman Zeynalova - Trend:

Overlooking the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in the context of the Draft Resolution of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum is harmful for the reputation of the EaP CSF in the eyes of the broader Azerbaijani community, reads a statement from the Azerbaijani National Platform of the EaP CSF.

“We, the Members of the Azerbaijani National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF), following the widespread discussions of the Draft Resolution of the 10th Annual Assembly of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum in the Azerbaijani media, feel the need to clarify our position on the following points.
We appreciate the role of the EaP CSF in aiding all EaP countries’ civil societies in their strengthening of democracy, rule of law and sustainable development, which leads to greater integration with the European community,” said the statement.

The Azerbaijani National Platform said it acknowledges the positive role of the EaP CSF in bringing Azerbaijani and Armenian civil society representatives together, helping them to advance their peace agendas on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict; however, the Draft Resolution has failed to uphold the importance of territorial integrity issues for all of the EaP countries.

“This position has been stressed by the Joint Declaration of the Eastern Partnership Summit, held on 24 November 2017 in Brussels, Belgium, stating: “The European Union remains committed in its support to the territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty of all its partners”.”

The Azerbaijani National Platform is also concerned regarding the lack of Azerbaijani government representatives in the list of invitees. “It wishes to see the active participation of Azerbaijani government representatives in the Forum and calls on the Forum, the government of Georgia and the EU to issue the invitations in a speedy manner.”

The Azerbaijani National Platform stresses once more its appreciation for the work of the EaP CSF.

“At the same time, it would like to draw attention to the fact that the Azerbaijani government and civil society have developed complementary narratives on the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, which remains a sensitive issue for the country.

“Overlooking the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in the context of the Draft Resolution is harmful for the reputation of the EaP CSF in the eyes of the broader Azerbaijani community.

“We would like to remind that the core objective of the CSF is to establish mutual cooperation and understanding among the Civil Societies of the Eastern Partnership Member Countries in the best interest of our peoples. Unfortunately, the adoption of such a Draft Resolution within the CSF platform would lead to dissatisfaction among Azerbaijani government and society representatives, undermining the credibility of the Forum,” reads the statement.

The 10th Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum Annual Assembly will take place in Tbilisi on 10-12 December. This annual event brings together civil society organizations from all six Eastern Partner countries and the EU. It has been organized every year since 2009.

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