Mrs. Anne Brasseur,
President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe,
All PACE Bureau members,
Mr. Wojciech Sawicki,
Secretary-General of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
Mr. Thorbjørn Jagland,
Secretary General of the Council of Europe
Baku, 17 April 2015
I am perplexed by your press release entitled “PACE President welcomes Armenia’s steady advancement on path of reform”, as published under your name on the official PACE-website yesterday 15 April.
In this press text you mention twice so-called “Nagorno-Karabakh conflict”, in these wordings, whereas the PACE – organisation which you officially represent – repeatedly confirmed in its leading bodies to officially mention this so-called conflict as “the occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven other territories of Azerbaijan”.
We do realize that your Secretary-General Mr Sawicki, as head of the PACE-administration being editor-in-chief of all PACE press texts, keeps denying clear decisions by PACE-bodies in this regard. Until today, indeed all PACE press releases on this issue mention the Armenian formulation, not the PACE formulation (which is also complying with formulations by other international organizations!).
As you will for sure remember, the precise wordings of the title of a report on this issue were the object of a very intense and long-lasting debate within the PACE’s Bureau, as every single word has indeed its political importance for all parties concerned in this delicate issue. Eventually the following formulation was adopted with large majority in the Bureau: “(Escalation of violence in)… Nagorno-Karabakh and the other occupied territories of Azerbaijan”.
On 17 March in Paris an Armenian representative in the Monitoring Committee, as well as according to the information obtained from media, Armenian President, Speaker of the Parliament, and other officials during your official visit to Armenia between 13-15th April tried to reopen the debate, by attacking you and to change this formulation again, so-called ‘simplifying’ it into “The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict”, precisely as you formulate in your press release! A similar Armenian attempt few weeks before in Strasbourg, within the Political Affairs Committee, was also turned down with an overwhelming majority.
All these Armenian attempts in Bureau, Political Affairs Committee and Monitoring Committee to deny reality of armed occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and other Azerbaijani territories eventually only resulted in a waste of precious time and energy within these PACE bodies. But apparently you, as President of PACE, only you keep advocating publicly the Armenian thesis, going straight against clear decisions by all these leading PACE bodies.
In the same yesterday’s press release however, you emphasized, and I quote: “As President, it is my duty to guarantee the implementation of decisions taken by Assembly bodies”. You do understand how perplexed I am by your openly contradictory attitude.
Therefore, allow me to strongly call on you and on your authority as President, to correct the above-mentioned press release and to have all future PACE press texts on this issue complying with the PACE Bureau’s formulation.
Allow me to remind you that you have the power to overrule your Secretary-General as editor-in-chief of PACE press releases, who’s aim is clearly to implement his private Armenian-inspired political agenda through these one-sided and incorrect press texts, thus affecting your good name as President and the good reputation of PACE.
All of us know that PACE home page press releases – not being officially approved PACE documents, but written under the absolute control of just one single man! – have often more impact on public opinion than huge reports and tough resolutions, so let’s be very serious about this!
In general, as President you are for sure aware that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe should not undermine its credibility by using contradictory political terminologies on any delicate topic. You will for sure agree that uniformity in PACE’s political terminology, complying with official PACE decisions, is essential in this respect.
Finally, I thank you in advance both for your answer, which will be clarifying for sure, as for truly ensuring very precise implementation of decisions taken by Assembly bodies on this issue in the future.
With my highest consideration,
Member of Azerbaijani Delegation to PACE