Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 7
The public of Azerbaijan is extremely concerned on an unfair position demonstrated in the period of independence towards the country by certain circles in the West and in Europe, Novruz Mammadov, assistant to the Azerbaijani President for foreign policy issues, head of the department, said on Dec. 7.
"A new example of such a position was demonstrated on Dec. 5 during the discussion in the Council of Europe of the issue related to Ilgar Mammadov," Mammadov said.
He said that this issue has continued to be a concern of one of the figures supervising the activities of the Council of Europe - Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland.
"He believes that no one knows what goals he serves. Apparently, Jagland is aiming to "punish" Azerbaijan, at any cost, to demonstrate Azerbaijan what he is capable of, making the issue of Ilgar Mamedov a flagship for the "defender of human rights". He thinks that it will be easy to achieve this. It's not in vain that the EU is called a Christian club, so why should not the Council of Europe be a Christian club? Who can stop it when Islamophobia has reached such a level? And this is way he can achieve "main goal". Otherwise, over the past years he would have at least once said a word somewhere, expressed his position on Armenia, which occupied the territory of Azerbaijan, which is a member of the Council of Europe. But alas. This European structure is constantly speaking about human rights and obligations, as if there are no obligations. According to Jagland's position, the state that occupied the territories of another country does not bear any responsibility," Mammadov said.
Mammadov said that despite the fact that Armenia keeps under occupation Azerbaijani lands for many years, violates the fundamental rights of more than one million Azerbaijanis living there, committing the Khojaly tragedy, no measures are taken against it, no sanctions are applied, and this country is still a member the Council of Europe, which is a symbol of human rights.
"Are these the European values? Why had Azerbaijan to wait 26 years to get support from the EU for its territorial integrity," Mammadov said.
"Since Europe, which was indifferent to the occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh by Armenia, itself faced separatism today, it began to change its position on this issue, to make statements in support of the territorial integrity of its members, which is a clear example of double standards. Although we repeatedly voiced a need to form a unified position against separatism, that separatism will return to Europe itself with the boomerang effect," said the presidential aide.
If the Council of Europe, by such steps, tries to justify the intention to remove Azerbaijan from the structure, there is no need for it, he added.
"Since Azerbaijan joined the Council of Europe the country faced a prejudiced opinion of both the structure and its leadership instead of hearing at least one positive opinion on the projects of international cooperation implemented with the European Union, or about the assistance provided within the framework of various organizations. Azerbaijan is a full member of the Council of Europe, but the withdrawal of Azerbaijan from the organization is not a tragedy, against the background of violations in other Council of Europe member states (violation of membership fees, non-enforcement of judgments, pressure on journalists and representatives of civil society and restriction of their activities), and non-fulfillment of thousands of rights and human rights, as well as violations of the Council of Europe Statute and decisions of the European Court of Human Rights, such a step in respect of Azerbaijan alone is nothing more than a disregard for international law, justice and the continuation of the above relations," said Mammadov.
Mammadov said that lack of any criticism against Armenia on the backdrop of facts evidencing numerous violations of human rights in this country raises serious questions in connection with this decision of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.
"This again demonstrates a prejudiced attitude towards Muslim states. Is not this a manifestation of Islamophobia in some form?" Even those states that are trying to act as friends during bilateral negotiations appear quite differently during the voting. Although Azerbaijan, while remaining true to its promises in connection with the use of all possible means for the implementation of the said decision, continues to carry out the relevant legislative amendments. In this connection, in accordance with the changes introduced in the legislation, starting from Dec. 1, 2017, on the basis of the appeal to the court, Ilgar Mammadov can get the right to conditional release because he has already served two third of the sentence. The Azerbaijani side can agree to constructive negotiations to find other ways of resolving the issue. But one structure of the Council of Europe, not taking into account the direction in which the process can go and getting under the influence of certain circles, continues its preconceived position. The decisive role for Jagland in bringing the situation to such an extent is obvious," said the presidential aide.