Prominent opposition politician and thinker in Azerbaijan, Erkin Gadirli, who is a board member of the Alternative REAL Movement, welcomed ongoing negotiations between the European Union and Azerbaijan aimed at concluding a new framework agreement to regulate relations between them. Gadirli said that contacts between the EU and Azerbaijan should be deepened and widened.
Gadirli was speaking on Monday (15 May) at the Brussels Press Club, at the heart of the European capital, as guest of the organisation LINKS (Dialogue, Analysis and Research), as part of its series "Voices and Conversations".
In the conversation with the LINKS Director, Dr Dennis Sammut, Erkin Gadirli said that European insititutions must pay more attention to what civil society and opposition forces have to say on many issues of EU-Azerbaijan relations, and a way needs to be found that would be suitable for all sides, to include them in the dialogue. This, Gadirli said, was exactly what happened in the 1990s when the first EU-Azerbaijan agreement was being discussed, and it was then considered a useful and necessary process.
Speaking on the Karabakh conflict Gadirli said that Azerbaijan is entitled under article 51 of the UN Charter to use force to liberate its occupied territories, but war was the least desirable option, and whilst Azerbaijani society was united on a common position on the Karabakh issue, Azerbaijan society was overall peaceful and tolerant and saw the benefit of dialogue to achieve a solution.
Speaking about the domestic political situation in Azerbaijan Gadirli said that the REAL Movement will use all legal means to push forward its ideas and get its message out to the Azerbaijani public. This includes through participation in elections.
source: "Conversation with Erkin Gadirli" is part of the series Voices and Conversations, a LINKS DAR initiaive in association with commonspace.eu. Views voiced do not necessarily reflect the opinion of LINKS (DAR), commonspace.eu, or their members, partners and supporters.
Photo: Erkin Gadirli at the Brussels Press Club on Monday 15 May 2017 (c) commonspace.eu
In this op-ed Dennis Sammut discusses two competing narratives emerging in Brussels and Ankara. Often blurred and episodical, they need to be challenged where necessary