French senator: Regional leadership must be priority for Azerbaijan (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan, Baku, March 17 / Trend E. Ostapenko /
Azerbaijan is a stable country, but it is in a dangerous region. Regional leadership in the country is a priority to guarantee stability in the Caspian region, French Senator Nathalie Goulet said.
"Cooperation with Europe can be useful for Azerbaijan. But first, leadership in the Caspian region is needed," Goulet said at the Azerbaijani Presidential Center of Strategic Research.
The topic of discussion at a debate at the center Wednesday was covered Azerbaijan as a stable state in the Caucasus and the Middle East.
Goulet said it is important to strengthen cooperation within the NATO Parliamentary Assembly to enhance stability in the South Caucasus and the Caspian region.
"Azerbaijan can play an active role in the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, not being a NATO member," Goulet said, who is a members of the French Senatorial France-Russia Friendship Group member and the NATO PA Economic Commission.
These two organizations, NATO and NATO PA, are unrelated, she said. Similarly, Azerbaijan can be part of Europe, not being an EU member. This will give the country the advantages of cooperation and eliminate all the difficulties associated with the euro zone, periodic summits and other routine events associated with membership.
Goulet added that she highly appreciates the active diplomatic policy of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. It is important to keep up the country's image, she said.
During debates, the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was also raised.
Azerbaijani political analyst Vafa Guluzade accused Western diplomats of double standards, while resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement and pandering Armenian policy.
Goulet also condemned the policy of double standards, stressing that, unfortunately, they are a reality today and not only toward Azerbaijan.
Even though French President Nicolas Sarkozy hosted its Armenian counterpart, this does not mean that Sarkozy has sacrificed OSCE Minsk Group principles, within which the peace negotiations are being held.
The peace talks have been held to resolve the Nagorno Karabakh conflict since May 1994 under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chaired by Russia, France and the United States, when the sides reached a ceasefire.