details added (first version posted at 13:30)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 29
By Elchin Mehdiyev - Trend:
The bill on "State of human rights in the US" was submitted at a plenary session of the Azerbaijani parliament Dec. 29.
The bill was submitted by its author, MP Rovshan Rzayev, who called it a protest against double standards used against Azerbaijan.
Rzayev called for discussing the bill in the parliamentary committees.
The US Helsinki Commission, chaired by Chris Smith, submitted an anti-Azerbaijani bill to the Congress in December.
The bill will be discussed in the human rights committee, the committee on legal policy and state building, as well as the committee on international and inter-parliamentary relations upon the instructions of Ogtay Asadov, the Speaker of the Parliament.
MP Siyavush Novruzov expressed his opinion about the bill.
"I support the bill, prepared by my colleague Rovshan Rzayev," he said. "However, I think that it is wrong to respond to every provocation of the Armenian lobby. This lobby just expects this. It is necessary to adopt this bill in relation to a particular congressman, rather than the US."
Novruzov said that the US is a strategic ally of Azerbaijan.
"Azerbaijan must continue its cooperation with this country," he said. "An anti-Azerbaijani bill is not the US position. This is the position of a certain pro-Armenian congressman. We must express protest over this, but not so sharply. We must not use sanctions because we have relations with the Congress. Our working group is there. By holding the negotiations with its assistance, it is necessary to resolve the problem."
Asadov said that Rovshan Rzayev is not the government or the parliament of Azerbaijan.
"By putting forward this bill, he stated his position as an MP," he said. "I think it is regrettable that some people think that Bill Smith's bill was prepared by the US Helsinki Commission. I want to say that they are wrong. The bill was prepared by one of the members of the commission. The Helsinki Commission does not have any relation to the bill."