Politics Materials 7 December 2005 12:03 (UTC +04:00)

Official news

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev made a speech to the first sitting of Milli Majlis [parliament] of new convocation on Friday.

“There is no precondition for orange revolution in Azerbaijan. I stated it even before the elections and the 6 November poll anew confirmed the loyalty of the Azerbaijani people to the policy of the ruling party,”

Definite preconditions, in particular, gap between the authorities and the people, strong opposition and decisive oppositionist leader, are required for the replacement in state power to occur. The same time, serious socio-public situation could precondition the revolt, while no factor of the kind exists in Azerbaijan вЂ" people are loyal to authorities.

“Nagorno-Karabakh conflict can and ought to be resolved on the base of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan,” Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev told the first sitting of the parliament of the third convocation.

“No comprise can be made in this issue. The biggest compromise, which Azerbaijan did, is that it continues peace talks for more than 10 years. I think the conflict can be easily resolved if Azerbaijan has powerful economic potential,” he underlined.

According to Aliyev, the activities of the OSCE Minsk Group can be regarded as satisfactory вЂ" the co-chairs are seemed to be interested in moving ahead the negotiations. The CE and different international organizations have repeatedly stated their support to Azerbaijan’s position in the issue, while our patience is not infinite, the head of state stressed, underlining that the military buffet of Azerbaijan grew to $600m.

The President also noted that there was unused potential in the negotiation process and peace talks will continue. “As soon as Azerbaijan becomes a powerful country any problems can be resolved. Azerbaijan supports by-stage resolution of the conflict вЂ" this is a principle and unchanged thesis,” Aliyev underlined.

Relations between Azerbaijan and Iran will further develop successfully, the Foreign Minister of Iran Manuchehr Mottaki said in a statement on 28 November at the meeting in Baku with the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, Trend reports.

The Minister conveyed greetings from the Iranian President and voiced content by the dynamic development of the bilateral relations. He congratulated the Azerbaijan’s President on the successful parliamentary elections.

Speaking on his official visit to Tehran at the beginning of the year, Aliyev noted, that the documents signed establish a solid base for expanding bilateral cooperation. He voiced satisfaction, that the signed economic agreements are being successfully implemented.

Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict

Activists of the Karabakh Liberation Organization held protest actions in front of embassies oif the United States, France and Russia in Baku on Webnesday at different hours. Meanwhile, 4 actvisits of the KLO were detained for attempts of piceting the office of OSCE in Baku

“There is no reply from Azerbaijan and Armenia in regard to the proposal of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen, particularly, on organization of the next meeting of the Azerbaijani and Armenian President in January,” Yuriy Merzlyakov, the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairman from Russia, told Trend in an exclusive interview.

The diplomat voiced satisfaction with the approving statements of the officials of the both countries in regard to the January direct meetings of the Presidents. Besides, Merzlyakov regards that it may be spoken in detail at the meeting of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen with the Azerbaijani and Armenian Foreign Ministers in Ljubljana from 5 to 6 December. The date of the planned meeting of the mediators on the Nagorno-Karabakh region is probably to be determined at this event.

Robert Kocharian stated that Armenia may recognize the self-declared Nagorno-Karabakh Republic in case of reaching a deadlock in the negotiations. In his turn, Vardan Oskanian, said that Karabakh was an integral part of Armenia, which would never be handed over Azerbaijan. Merzolyakov underlined that co-chairmen did not comment any statements made by the sides.

Foreign policy

Preparations for Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are underway, Eldar Salimov, the Azerbaijani Extraordinary and plenipotentiary to the UAE, told Trend in an exclusive interview.

Official invitation was conveyed to the head of state a while ago. The two sides are currently involved in the work over the program of the visit, while the date of the visit is still to be determined.

During the visit it is planned to sign a packet of bilateral documents directed at the development of bilateral trade-economic and humanitarian relationships. In particular, there is a large packet of agreements including the documents on trade and economic cooperation in the sphere of mutual assistance and facilitating of investments health, education.

“Azerbaijan and Iran may be compared with one spirit in two bodies,” Manuchekhr Mottaky, the Iranian Foreign Minister, said to a news conference on the results of the negotiations with his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov, Trend reports.

He voiced satisfaction that he paid the first official visit in the post of Minister to fraternal and friendly Azerbaijan. According to Mottaky, the negotiations with the Azerbaijani Foreign Minister will serve to development of the bilateral relations. The Minister also noted that connection of the railways between the countries would make its contribution to development of the bilateral political relations. Mottaky voiced satisfaction with successful results of the parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan.

In his turn, Mamadyarov expressed satisfaction that Mottaky paid his first official visit to Azerbaijan. According to Mamadyarov, the sides discussed some issues on the bilateral cooperation, as well as the Nagorno-Karabakh problem and some bilateral economic projects.

“We are in talks currently to ease the in and out visits of the citizens and I hope them to end in signing of an appropriate document,” Khalafov told a news conference.

Khalafov underlined that facilitation of visa regime will enable to consolidate the humanitarian relationships between the nations of Azerbaijan and Iran and improve the passenger transportation between the two countries.

Рђzerbaijan as an independent state is entitled to hold exchange of views with other states on the issues of mutual concern, including with the Republic of Cyprus, deputy Foreign Minister (FM) of Azerbaijan Khalaf Khalafov told journalists, commenting on the recent visit to Baku of two representatives of the Republic of Cyprus to the Council of Europe and the meetings held with them at FM of Azerbaijan, Trend reports.

Deputy FM denied the reports that the mission from Cyprus voiced its protest to the official Baku in regard to the cooperation of Azerbaijan with the Turkish part of the island. В"It is not dwelt upon the protest, there were an appeal from the Greek Cyprus on the desire to discuss a number of issues “of mutual concern” and we agreed to receive the mission, the diplomat noted. The deputy Minister did not go into details on the talks.

Аzerbaijan cannot be and will not stay outside the “New Neighborhood Policy” of the European Union (EU), deputy Foreign Minister (FM) of Azerbaijan Khalaf Khalafov said in a statement, commenting on the statements of the Armenian officials that Azerbaijan may be not involved in this policy, Trend reports.

Deputy Foreign Minister evaluated these statements as “propaganda”. According to him, both Azerbaijan and EU are interested in even closer cooperation and this intention has been voiced by the EU top officials at the meetings with the Azerbaijan’s FM head Elmar Mammadyarov in Brussels.

The Foreign Minister (FM) of Azerbaijan Elmar Mammadyarov set to official negotiations with the top officials of the authorities and the government of this country on 29 November in the afternoon in the framework of his official visit to the South Korea, the head of the media an information policy department of the Azerbaijan’s FM Tair Tagizade told Trend.

Mammadyarov handed over the letter by Ilham Aliyev, the Azerbaijani President, to the Korean President and underlined that the forthcoming visit would allow the countries to strengthen the bilateral cooperation.

In his turn, Moo-Hyun expressed gratitude in relation to the invite and said that the concrete date of the visit would be determined through diplomatic channels. The Korean President made reply invitation to his Azerbaijani counterpart. The Azerbaijani Foreign Minister reported that the Azerbaijani embassy would be opened in Seoul soon

The same day Mammadyarov held a meeting with Von-Ki Kim, the chairman of the Korean National Meeting, and Ban-Ki Mun, the Korean Foreign Minister. The sides held exchange of opinions regarding development of economic, cultural and political relations between countries, as well as the Armenian aggression in regard to Azerbaijan. They also discussed opening of language courses for Azerbaijani diplomats in Korea. Azerbaijan and Korea signed protocols on cooperation between the Azerbaijani Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Korean Foreign Ministry, Economy Ministry.

Azerbaijani Foreign Minister left for Ukraine on Thursday to participate in the first forum of the international forum �Community for Democratic Elections’, the Azerbaijani embassy in Ukraine told Trend.

The Azerbaijani and Ukrainian foreign ministers, Elmar Amadyarov and Boris Tarasyuk, held an exchange of opinions on bilateral and regional cooperation in Kiev on Friday, Sabuhi Temirov, the first adviser to the Azerbaijani Ambassador to Ukraine, told Trend.

Political life

The United States Embassy welcomes the decision of the Constitutional Court of Azerbaijan to reverse annul the results in additional constituencies that had been affected by electoral fraud in the November 6 parliamentary elections, the US embassy announced on Friday.

Since the elections, the Government of Azerbaijan has investigated reports of fraud, overturned the results in one constituency, and canceled the results in ten constituencies and hundreds of individual precincts. We believe that these steps are an important part of ensuring the integrity of the electoral process. The United States looks forward to working closely with the newly elected parliamentarians, the statement said.

“We further urge the Police and Interior Ministry to respect the rights of peaceful free assembly. Finally, we call upon the Government to move expeditiously and re-run the elections in the ten canceled constituencies according to international standards,” the statement underlines

“ The United States looks forward to working with the Government to strengthen all democratic institutions, including the a new parliament in which all voices вЂ" independent, opposition, and ruling party вЂ" are heard and its political blocs,” according to the document.

Washington condemned the violent breakup of what was a peaceful protest, Sean McCormack, an official representative of US Department of State, stated. He was commenting on the actions by the Azerbaijani law-enforcement bodies on the opposition rally staged by Azadlyg bloc over last weekend (26 November).

“We expect the Azerbaijan Government will hold to account those responsible for the violence against peaceful protestors,” McCormack said.

Touching upon the 6 November parliamentary elections the OSCE has spoken to the fact that the electoral -- the election process did not meet fully all -- international standards for a free and fair election.

“Once we have completed the election process -- and I expect that to happen in the not too distant future, to have an overall assessment about the electoral process. But before all the results are certified and all the final investigations are taken -- take place with regard to allegations of fraud, I don't think we can come to any final, final -- put a period at the end of the sentence on these elections quite yet,” he underlined.

The same time there have been some developments that we would note. I put out one, for example, on which the government has fired several individuals who were found to be involved in fraudulent voting. That is certainly positive, he underscored

“We hoped that the parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan will be the first step forward on the way of democracy, while the authorities failed �to pass exam’, according to the statement by the US Commission on Security and Cooperation (Helsinki Commission) on results of the parliamentary elections held in Azerbaijan, Trend reports in reference to Radio Liberty.

In compliance with the statement, the chairman of the Commission, Sam Brownback, voiced his deep regret in connection with the results of the 6 November parliamentary elections. Stating the position of the Helsinki Commission on police violence against the participants of the arch-rally he stressed that obviously the Azerbaijani authorities would not like to see the �color revolution’ like in Georgia and Ukraine.

In his turn the Director of the international policy commission, Ronald McNamar, who personally participated in the monitoring of the elections stated that despite positive steps taken by the Azerbaijani authorities, the decrees issued by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev were not implemented properly.

Referring to positions of the international organizations McNamar noted that in compliance with the preliminary estimation of the OSCE, the 6 November elections fell short of some CE standards and OSCE commitments.

“The organization like the U.S. Helsinki Assembly has not right to make similar statements and must be involved in solution of its own internal issues,” Novruz Mammadov, the head of the Foreign Relations Division of the President’s Apparat, told Trend.

On Thursday Sem Braunbek, the chairman of the organization, made a statement, where he expressed deep regret in relation to the results of the 6 November parliamentary elections.

“Azerbaijan is independent country and the parliamentary elections were held within the law of the country. Similar statements are senseless after completion of the parliamentary elections. I don’t see necessity of commentary,” Mammadov stressed.

As a result of a one-day visit the PACE post-election mission will develop a report, which will be discussed at a meeting of PACE Monitoring Committee on 15 December, Andreas Herkel, a PACE co-rapporteur on Azerbaijan, told Trend. With another co-rapporteur, Andreas Gross, and the head of the CE mission on November parliamentary elections, a Dutch MP, Leo Platvoed, he is going to hold several meetings in Baku on Friday.

The mission held talks with the heads of the political parties, including leaders of the opposition blocs Azadlyg and New Policy YeS, the chairman of the Central Elections Commission of Azerbaijan, Mazahir Panahov, the chairman of the Constitution Court, Farhad Abdullayev, and the head-of-staff of the President’s Executive Power, Ramiz Mehdiyev.of the statement sounded at a news conference held at the CE Information Office in Baku on Friday.

Andreas Herkel, a member of the mission, a PACE co-rapporteur on Azerbaijan, noted that a process of consideration of complaints by the Central Elections Commission did not meet the essence of the developments. “We are not the law-defenders of the opposition and only want the conduct of democratic elections,” Herkel noted.

In his turn, another PACE co-rapporteur on Azerbaijan, Andreas Gross, voiced his concerns in connection with the sentence on the recognition of the results of poll. �We aspired to arrive in Baku prior to the adoption of the results of the polling by the Constitution Court of Azerbaijan, while we failed,” said Gross, noting that recognition of the mandate of the Azerbaijani delegation t PACE will be uneasy in such condition.

PACE co-rapporteur recalled a proposal that was sounded during the session of the PACE permanent session in Bucharest. It stipulated the formation of the elections commissions all further elections in parity basis. “Now we are waiting for a reply of the Azerbaijani side to the proposal,” Gross said.

The same time a Dutch MP, Leo Platvoed, announced that as a results of the visit to Baku the monitoring mission they will design a report which will be discussed in Paris on 15 December at a meeting of the CE Monitoring Committee, as well as included in the agenda of the PACE Bureau to be held early January 2006. Platvoed also announced that PACE monitoring mission will visit Azerbaijan in January 2006. “We also invited PACE President Rene van der Linden to visit Baku along with the members of the monitoring mission,” he underlined.

He regretted in connection with the statement by the US embassy in Baku on Friday, which appraises a sentence of the Azerbaijani Constitution Court on the cancellation of results of votes in 10 constituencies and their reconsideration in one constituency.

State building

The Constitution Court of Azerbaijan held a plenum on Thursday to check up and adopt the final protocols of the 6 November parliamentary elections. Farhad Abdullayev, the head of the Constitution Court, presided over the meeting, Trend reports.

The chairman of the Central Elections Commission (CEC), Mazahir Panahov, the first vice chair of the CEC, Svetlana Gasimova, the secretary of the CEC, Natik Mammadov, member of the CEC, Enver Aliyev and Mansum Bayramov, the experts of the Baku State University, Mubariz Ismayilov and Shiraslan Yusifov, an expert of the State Statistic Committee, Elman Gasimov, as well as judges Aladdin Sultanov, Bahman Garibov, spoke to the plenum.

Mazahir Panahov, the chairman of the CEC, informed on the results of parliamentary elections and noted that candidates from 50 political parties were registered. 16,000 people from the CEC were registered as observers and 40,000 вЂ" constituency elections commissions. The CEC received 538 complaints in connection with the elections, while results of polling were annulled at 4 constituency elections commissions.

In their remarks members of the CEC, Mansum Bayramov and Enver Aliyev, noted the irregularities committed during the elections and announced the names of the constituencies where the results were to be annulled. An expert of the State Statistics Committee, Elman Gasimov, informed about the mistakes in the final protocols and irregularities. Judge Sultanov elaborated on all procedures on conduct of elections in compliance with the Constitution and the Elections Code of Azerbaijan. After the speeches, the legal corps announced a break in the hearings.

The first plenary session of the Milli Majlis of the third convocation elected Ziyafat Asgarov the first vice speaker of Azerbaijani parliament with 92 pros, 2 cons and 2 abstained. Other vice speakers were Valeh Alasgarov, Ali Husseynov, and Bahar Muradova.

Besides, Ali Husseynov was elected the head of the permanent commission on legal issues, Ziyafet Asgarov вЂ" the commission on defense, Valeh Alasgarov вЂ" commission on ecology, energy and natural resources, Arif Ibrahimov вЂ" regional issues, Eldar Ibrahimov вЂ" agrarian issues, Hadi Rajabli вЂ" social security, Samad Seyidov вЂ" international relationships, Nizami Jafarov вЂ" culture, Rabiyyar Aslanov вЂ" human rights, Shamsaddin Hajiyev вЂ" science and education, Siyad Samadzade вЂ" economy.

“On Tuesday Safar Abiyev, the Azerbaijani Justice Minister, left for Moscow with business viist,” Ramiz Malikov, the head of the press service of the Minsitry, told Trend.

Abiyev participated in the meeting of the CIS Defense Minsiters on Wednesday. The meeting discussed establishement of international system on interaction against international terrorism, increase of terrorist activities of transnational charachter and extremism.

Abiyev did not sign a draft agreement on establishment of CIS unified radiation intelligence.

Under the bilateral military plan undersigned by Azerbaijan and Ukraine, from 29 November to 1 December Kiev hosted a meeting of a working group on establishment of cooperation among medical services of armed forces of Ukraine and Azerbaijan.