Autonomy Not Obligatory for Self-Defined National Minorities: CE Commissariat’s Representative
Azerbaijan, Baku / corr Trend K.Ramazanova / Autonomy is not obligatory for self-defined national minorities, Josef Marco, a Representative of the Council of Europe Commissariat on National Minorities, said in talks with journalists on 14 September.
Regarding claims by Avars, the national minority residing in the north-west part of Azerbaijan, to establish their autonomy, Marco said that every person has a right to belong to a national minority and speak and study in their native language. "However, it does not mean that all national minorities should be given autonomy status, the CE representative stressed.
Two reports were prepared in the issue of national minorities in Azerbaijan - one in 2000 and another in 2004. The next report will be completed in 2010. Subsequently representatives of the Commissariat will pay another visit to Azerbaijan and are expected to tour the northern region of Azerbaijan.
Members of the Commissariat visited the southern region of Azerbaijan to hold meetings with representatives from the Talysh community. Marco said in talks with journalists that the meeting discussed the Talysh language teachings at schools and the publication of text-books.