PACE to Adopt Resolution on Azerbaijan - SR of PACE Secretary General

Politics Materials 13 April 2007 20:00 (UTC +04:00)
PACE to Adopt Resolution on   Azerbaijan -     SR of PACE Secretary General

Azerbaijan, Baku / corr. Trend A.Ismayilova / Interview with special representative of the Council of Europe Secretary General, Denis Bribosia

Question: The upcoming PACE session will discuss Azerbaijan's obligations set by the Council of Europe. Will the session adopt any resolutions as a result of discussions?

Answer: The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) holds four sessions a year. The second session in 2007 will begin on Monday [16 April]. Azerbaijan will be an important theme on the agenda. A report by the Monitoring Committee, developed by the PACE co-rapporteurs, Tony Lloyd and Andreas Herkel, will be put forward for discussion. Afterwards, MPs from all European countries will have an opportunity to ask the co-rapporteurs questions regarding what they saw in Azerbaijan and their opinions about the country. Later there will an exchange of opinions among parliamentary delegates and finally, it is planned to reach a resolution which will be adopted by eight PACE member-states.

Question: Representatives of the opposition and law-defenders have also been invited to the gathering. Nevertheless, the Chairman of the Popular Front of Azerbaijan Party, Ali Karimli, is unable to participate in the session due to absence of his passport. Is the issue being settled?

Answer: The issue has two aspects. Regarding the participation of the opposition leaders it would be right to say that they were invited not by the CE, but only by the two PACE co-rapporteurs. It means that there are no plans to hold meetings at the spring session for exchanging opinions with the Azerbaijani opposition leaders - MPs are going to hold discussions among themselves. So, Azerbaijani MPs will carry out talks with parliamentarians of other countries.

Regarding the issue on Karimli and his passport we believe that the issue will be resolved within the framework of the law. Every appellant should have an opportunity to state their case at court and the independent court should resolve it. It is an unpleasant situation when an opposition leader is unable to leave the country. I guess the issue will be soon investigated and resolved.

Question: Why has such a large number of opposition representative and law-defenders been invited to the PACE spring session? The local reports interpreted this issue ambiguously...

Answer: I think the co-rapporteurs invited the representatives of different public and political circles of Azerbaijan to Strasbourg to hold discussion with them. In the first place, the CE is an open organization, meaning everyone can participate and assist in the debates. Moreover, there are opportunities to observe the debates personally through the CE website.

Question: So, the CE has no intention to pay the traveling expenses of opposition leaders and law-defenders from Azerbaijan to the session?

Answer: Quite right.

Question: Due to some reasons, Azerbaijan's obligations, including the adoption of the law on Alternative Military Service, are still unfulfilled. Azerbaijan states impossibility of the adoption of such law in connection with its being in a state war. Is the question being discussed?

Answer: Azerbaijan's obligations are not a secret document and open for all. The key objective is not to put additional obligations on Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is an independent and sovereign country. Azerbaijan itself undertook obligations to resolve the important requirements and is still committed to implementing them. We only want to assist the country in the fulfillment of its obligations. I am sure that all obligations, including the adoption of the law on Alternative Military Service, will be soon fulfilled.

Question: The PACE spring session is reported to involve discussion on legal trials held in Azerbaijan over the last while, including the incident between MPs Huseyn Abdullayev and Fazail Agamal. Moreover, Andreas Herkel, a PACE co-rapporteur, has not ruled out this opportunity.

Answer: The parliamentarians can debate any question they desire. They can discuss this issue if they want. I guess they will do it.