West’s Concerns over Situation in Azerbaijan Grows: Opposition Leader
Azerbaijan, Baku, 27 June / Trend corr. E.Babayev / The opposition Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan (PFPA) believes that the West's concern over the situation in the country is growing. "The US State Department makes statements regarding negative tendencies in Azerbaijan," Ali Karimli, Chairman of PFPA stated to the American delegation after the meeting with David Cremer, Deputy Secretary of State on Democracy and Human Rights.
The dialogue regarding democracy was launched between Azerbaijan and the United States today. The delegation from the United States is headed by Deputy Secretary of State on Democracy, Human Rights and Labour Issues.
The key topic of the discussions will be presidential election and mass media. Cremer met with some of Azerbaijani opposition representatives.
The dialogue on democracy between the United States and Azerbaijan began in December 2006. Within the framework of the process the Azerbaijani Foreign Minister paid a visit to Washington in March 2007. In August 2007, a teleconference was held between the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry and the US State Department.
Karimli said that the Council of Europe and US State Department make statements regarding the state of democracy in Azerbaijan. "So, we should say that the Azerbaijani population plays decisive role in development of democracy. However, international organizations can also play a role in establishing of democratic conditions.
Unfortunately, what they do at present is not enough. But one should admit that the attitude of the international organizations differs by their adherence to principles as compared to the previous years. There is paradoxical situation. When the Azerbaijani people were struggling for democracy more actively, the international organizations were unambiguously supporting the government. But now, when the international organizations demand democracy, the Azerbaijani people and the Opposition as well are not active enough in their struggle for democracy. The attention of the international community to Azerbaijan has grown. They understand that if there is no any progress in the sphere of democracy, the achievements in security and energy will not be stable," he said.
Member of the Political Council of the ruling New Azerbaijan Party (NAP) and MP Aydin Mirzazade said to Trend on 27 June that the Azerbaijani opposition is looking for the way out of the problem not in the people, but in the foreign forces. It means that the opposition does not have public support. "The opposition expresses its wishes as the opinion of various international organizations. If there were regression in Azerbaijan in the sphere of democracy, the attention to Azerbaijan would not have grown," Mirzazade said. According to MP, the attention of the international organizations toward Azerbaijan has grown because of the serious achievements in all spheres. "There is problem of democratic opposition in Azerbaijan," NAP activist said.
At present, PFPA is the member and co-founder of Azadlig political bloc. The late former president of Azerbaijan Abulfaz Elchibay was the founder and chairman of the party till 2000. Ali Karimli, former secretary of state and MP has been leading the party since 2000.
NAP was established by the chairman of the Supreme Majlis of Nakhchivan Heydar Aliyev in 1992. The current President Ilham Aliyev is the chairman of the Party which has been ruling for already 14 years.
The correspondent can be contacted at - [email protected]