Member of Azerbaijani Delegation to PACE
The draft report on the functioning of democratic institutions in Azerbaijan prepared by co-rapporteurs Mr. Pedro Agramunt and Mr. Tadeusz Iwinski was discussed and adopted during PACE’s summer session on June 23, 2015. The discussion were very tense. As expected, main debates focused on the paragraph regarding Nagorno Karabakh and other occupied territories of Azerbaijan in draft resolution of the report. The debates on this issue, which reminded a “war of positions”, exposed anti-Azerbaijani forces and PACE as a political institution. The Assembly replaced the words “is fully informed about the occupation of Nagorno Karabakh and other seven provinces of Azerbaijan by Armenia” in the 1st paragraph of the report with “Nagorno Karabakh conflict”, the formulation they always use. All Europe and power centers mobilized all their resources to make this amendment and used all their power against just demands of Azerbaijan and co-rapporteurs. This was expected. Thus, the Assembly, messenger of rule of law and democracy, exposed its inactivity and admitted that it turns a blind eye to the fact of the occupation of Azerbaijani territories, by expressing its awareness about the occupation of the member state by the other member state for 23 years and such deeptragedy of Azerbaijani people.
It should be noted that during the presentation of the draft report in Monitoring Committee in May of this year, we achieved that the fact of the occupation of Azerbaijani territories was included in the 1st paragraph of the draft report as “the occupation of Nagorno Karabakh and seven provinces of Azerbaijan by Armenia” after my fierce speech. I also expressed our deep regret to the fact that despite the occupation of Azerbaijani territories by Armenia over 23 years, the Council of Europe limited itself only stating that it was “fully informed” about it.
Nevertheless, Armenian lobby and anti-Azerbaijani forces couldn’t admit the recognition of Armenia as an aggressor, thus, all Armenian lobby and anti-Azerbaijani forces started to deal with this issue and organize various attacks against Azerbaijan since May 21, the date of placement of the draft report on CoE website. The result was noted during the plenary session when almost none of PACE members did voice the Armenian occupation. Even anti-Azerbaijani forces, particularly President Ms. Ann Brasseur and Secretary General Mr. Sawicki didn’t even refrain from making pressure on co-rapporteurs Mr. Agramunt and Mr. Iwinski.
It should also be noted that leading power centers stirred up their anti-Azerbaijani campaign after the meeting of Monitoring Committee on May 28, when we achieved that the words “the occupation of Nagorno Karabakh and seven provinces of Azerbaijan by Armenia” remain in the 1st paragraph of the draft resolution. They instructed their sattellites in various international intergovernmental institutions and non-governmental organizations to simultaneously intensify their anti-Azerbaijani campaign in different directions. As a result of this instruction by power centers, anti-Azerbaijani forces and multiple international institutions, including the Human Rights House Network consisting of 90 human rights organizations from 18 human rights houses in 13 countries of Eastern and Western Europe, Caucasus and Balkans, launched systemic attacks against Azerbaijan. They obviusly refused to include the paragraph regarding the occupation in the report on the functioning of democratic institutions. They interfered in the affairs of court and sovereign country in contradiction with the principle of rule of law and suggested to add duplicating paragraphs on human rights. And this showed that they were mobilized to put pressure on Azerbaijan. Such bias was obviously reflected in repeated and biased amendments and proposals with the same content.
The upcoming parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan in 2015 were targeted as the second main direction of the strategy by anti-Azerbaijani forces. For this purpose, they attempted to add the following paragraph to the report: “Fully cooperate with ODIHR. Considering this cooperation, the Assembly will decide on the observation mission for the upcoming elections.”
The main essence of this addition by anti-Azerbaijani forces was to achieve that PACE withdraws its monitoring mission in October if OSCE/ODIHR is not invited to monitor the upcoming parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan in 2015. Interestingly, even contradicting proposals were voiced during speeches.
One of them was to withdraw PACE observation mission if ODIHR isn’t invited to the elections, on the contrary, the other one meant to increase PACE observation mission staff twice.
In fact, the proposal regarding ODIHR in spite of being controversial, was very ridiculous. However, Azerbaijan doesn’t have any obligation before this or other organisations to invite election observation mission. The Azerbaijani Government voluntarily invites observation missions to election, and such kind of invitation reflects the goodwill of the Azerbaijani authorities. Thus, anti-Azerbaijani forces couldn’t achieve their goal. According to CoE’s committment before Azerbaijan, it should monitor elections. Therefore, their attempts to threaten our country in such a way are in vain.
However, the main purpose of those, who tabled this proposal, was to change the first paragraph of the draft report and suppress the occupation fact of Nagorno-Karabakh and 7 other provinces. The intention to table various amendments with repetitions was to achieve their goal if the another one was denied.
So, as a result of strong influence of some European politicians and powerful states, which caused disaster in Ukraine, on the Ukrainian authorities, Ukrainian MPs proposed the draft resolution, which didn’t not making the occupation of Azerbaijani territories similar to that in Ukraine.
Despite the instructions by their countries, PACE members denied 3 of them and accepted the last one. Surprisingly, the new decision of the European Court of Human Rights on “the case of Chiragov and others” was not considered like this. Thus, the Court in its decision stresses that Armenia has an effective control over Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding provinces and states that due to the human rights violations in Nagorno-Karabakh and 7 surrounding provinces, internationally-legal responsibility falls on Armenia. I repeatedly stressed that not only Nagorno-Karabakh, but also 7 surrounding provinces were occupied, but they didn’t even want to hear it.
To achieve her malicious intentions, PACE President Anne Brasseur several times set the voting on that paragraph with various pretexts. Even after the voting, MPs in the lobbies didn’t hide their suspicions that this amendment was accepted with 10 votes.
I should note that according to rules of procedure of PACE, co-rapporteurs can express their views on the amendments during the debates. For instance, a few years ago during the debates on Strasser’s well-known report, he was expressing his views on the amendments. However, Ms. Anne Brasseur didn’t allow the rapporteurs to speak until the end of debates on the amendments to the 1st paragraph, thus, roughly violating the rules of procedure of PACE.
While the rapporteurs protested to that, Ms. Anne Brasseur told them that they don’t have the right to protest, and Secretary General Sawicki confirmed her decision. When Mr. Agustin Conde, PACE member from Spain, opposed the decision, extensively explaining the requirements of the rules of procedure, only then, Ms. Anne Brasseur allowed the co-rapporteurs to speak. But it was too late; Sawicki’s mission of Armenian defense had already ended.
I declare to the people of Azerbaijan that Europe doesn’t consider the fact of the occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and 7 surrounding provinces of Azerbaijan, and their attitude is nothing but to deceive the world and the Azerbaijani community. It is naive to trust Europe and international organizations or demand their support regarding the liberation of Azerbaijani territories occupied for 23 years.
Finally, I would like to note that Armenia refused to cooperate with Mr. Robert Walter, rapporteur of PACE Committee on Political Affairs on the “Escalation of tension in Nagorno-Karabakh and the other occupied territories” and didn’t let him visit Armenia within his mandate. Even though, despite the attempts of CoE leadership and Armenian authority to hide the occupation, they were obliged to invite Mr. Robert Walter as a rapporteur within his mandate on June 23. It is expected that during the session, PACE Committee on Social Affairs will decide on the next visit of Milica Markovic, rapporteur on Sarsang reservoir, which is under occupation, to Azerbaijan and Armenia.
Finally, I would like once again to stress that the purpose of pressures with various pretexts against our country in PACE is to hide the occupation by Armenia and to achieve to get the fact of occupation be forgotten. However, we should strongly continue our struggle against these malicious forces.