Program on Humanitarian Co-operation between Azerbaijan and Russia Adopted

Azerbaijan, Baku / corr. Trend I.Alizade / During the meeting on 10 April of the Milli Majlis [Azerbaijan Parliament], a program on the co-operation between Azerbaijan and Russia in the humanitarian sector in 2007-2009 was adopted.

MP Shamsaddin Hajiyev, the Chairman of the Permanent Parliamentary Commission on Science Baku in 2006. The program envisages the development of co-operation in the humanitarian sector during the period 2007 to 2009 and reflects measures on the development in all humanitarian areas, including concrete co-operation in science and education. "The program covers work on the expansion of opportunities for education in Azerbaijani and Russian languages," he noted.

Addressing the meeting, MP Nasib Nasibli said that in accordance with the program, Azerbaijan and Russia are to co-ordinate several humanitarian issues, particularly with regards to the history. He said that the Russian historians have their own feelings on the Caucasus, the Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict, the Armenians entering the Caucasus and other historic events. Azerbaijan was under Russian occupation, while the Russian and Azerbaijan historians have different opinions on this issue.

Noting the weak potential of Russian universities, the MP opposed co-operating with this country, describing Russia as a student of West. He recommended Azerbaijan co-operate with the West with regards to education.

MP Jamil Hasanli did not agree with his counterparts. He stated that Russia possesses great scientific potential and believes co-operation with Russia in this sector to be very fruitful. However, he opposed the proposal of coordinating the co-operation in the sphere of history.

MP Yagub Mahmudov noted the presence of contradictory milestones in the second item of the agreement. Article 31 of the program indicates that Azerbaijanis residing in Russia and Russians residing in Azerbaijan can receive education in their native language but the third item of the article contradicted this. Russians can receive education in their native language in secondary and high schools, whilst Azerbaijanis only receive education in their native language at Sunday schools. The MP regarded this as inequality.

After tense discussions, the Milli Majlis adopted the Program.

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