The government of Azerbaijan has reacted to the resolution of the European Parliament adopted on Thursday calling for the immediate release from prison of activist Ilgar Mammedov. The resolution was adopted with the support of all the major political groups in the European parliament. (see full text in English here).
The Deputy Head of Azerbaijan's Presidential Administration, chief of International Relations Department Novruz Mammadov in a comment to journalists quoted by the APA news Agency said that the Azerbaijani state regarded such steps as unacceptable.
"They are trying to exaggerate small issues and spread this to the world. The goal is make a negative impact on the international image of Azerbaijan."
According to him, 5-6 out of 754 MEPs put forward such a draft basing on their interests: "The introduction of the resolution voted by 10-15 persons during the discussions as a resolution of the European Parliament is completely contrary to the democratic principles. We say to these parliamentarians, who are you to give instructions to Azerbaijan and speak with a high tone? We can never adopt such steps. This damages and impedes the high-level cooperation of Azerbaijan with the European Union and various European countries. At present, Azerbaijan is such a state that there no need to look down on it. We don't need a second Kremlin. If the European Parliament is fair, it should adopt documents protecting the rights of hundreds of thousands of civilians displaced from their territories as a result of Armenia's aggression. We know that Ilgar Mammadov is close to those circles, therefore they have taken such a step. But it is impossible to exert pressure on Azerbaijan with such steps."
The Azerbaijani position was echoed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan. APA reports that in a statement the Ministry said:
The adoption of a document named resolution through the discussions on "Azerbaijan: Ilgar Mammadov's issue" at the European Parliament with the participation a group of parliamentarians causes regret. Regarding this step that does not serve our bilateral relations with the European Union, we consider it necessary to say the following:
Azerbaijan is committed to the universal values such as democracy, human rights and freedoms. It is a principle adopted by all European countries that citizens can express their protests only within the law. Adequate measures against the attempts to stir up unrest, to call to civil disobedience don't run contrary to legal principles in progressive societies.
Unfortunately, a group of MEPs, who often gather persons distinguished for their biased positions, discusses various issues on Azerbaijan and expressed incorrect statements.
It runs contrary to the principles of democracy that the position of 20-30 persons out of 754 is introduced as an official document in Europe, where democratic values are considered the major principles. This is at least misappropriation of the rights of the absolute majority of the European Parliament."
The statement says that the tone of the document does not correspond to the spirit of the bilateral relations and is inadmissible for Azerbaijan, which is the sovereign subject of the international law.
"The European Parliament, which has adopted democracy, justice and human rights as important universal values, has not expressed justice position, nor issued a statement in line with the international law regarding the Azerbaijani territories occupied for more than 20 years, or one million refugees and internally displaced persons, whose rights have been violated. It is inadmissible that some members of the European Parliament have such an approach and exert pressure with these steps."
source: commonspace.eu with APA News Agency
"As expected the declaration from the 5th Eastern Partnership summit did not change in any significant way the approach of the EU to the eastern neighbourhood. However the declaration has something for everybody, and there are interesting nuances in the text that can form the basis in the future for the next steps in the EU's engagement with the region", commonspace.eu political editor said in a comment.
Getting the Eastern Neighbourhood right is a key necessity for the future security and prosperity of Europe. The Brussels summit offers an opportunity for important steps on this matter in the right direction – not as an end in themselves but rather as a part of a longer term and more ambitious vision.