Azerbaijan Tries to Rebuild Bridges with International Institutions

September 30th, 2016

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Azerbaijani Parliament (Milli Majlis) discussed a draft resolution on “Cooperation between Milli Majlis of Azerbaijan Republic and European Parliament” at its plenary meeting on September 30.

Introducing the bill, Chairman of Azerbaijani Parliament’s Committee on International and Inter-Parliamentary Relations Samad Seyidov said that over the past one year members of European Parliament (EP) have both officially and unofficially sought to restore the relations with Azerbaijan after the EP came up with a biased resolution against Azerbaijan last year (10 September 2015), but Azerbaijani MPs avoided any communication.

“We sent them a clear message that they had to make serious changes in their relations with Azerbaijan. We told them that if they really wanted to restore bilateral ties with Azerbaijan, they needed to send a delegation mandated by the leadership of the European Parliament. And so it happened. A large delegation arrived in Azerbaijan this year on September 19. The European Parliament has never sent such a large delegation to any country before. They were received by the Azerbaijani President, and the entire conversation was extensively covered by the media. It was a concrete and objective meeting, which revealed the European Parliament’s non-objectivity based on documents. This meeting was a turning point. The Azerbaijani President laid out facts, and they understood that if they wanted to preserve bilateral relations with Azerbaijan, they needed to bring forward any issue not just with words but with documents,” the MP said.

According to Seyidov, Azerbaijan has never refused or intended to refuse to cooperate with any international organisation. “We are for the highest-level relations with the European Union, but mutual interests must be protected,” Seyidov stressed.

Speaker of Azerbaijani Parliament Ogtay Asadov said that during one-on-one meetings a number of MEPs had apologised for the resolution adopted by them last year.

Asadov also noted that a parliamentary group has been established to work on a decision concerning EURONEST.

The draft resolution was put to vote and adopted.

The document reads that, the unfair and non-objective resolution adopted by the European Parliament with regard to Azerbaijan on 10 September 2015 has seriously harmed the development of the relations between this parliamentary organisation and Azerbaijan.

“In response to this political action aimed at undermining the international reputation of Azerbaijan and the partnership between our country and the EU and its member states, Milli Majlis adopted the relevant resolution on 14 September 2015. According to the resolution, Milli Majlis has decided the initiate the implementation of the procedures on the termination of the membership of the Parliamentary Assembly of Euronest. It has also been decided to put an end to the participation of Milli Majlis in the EU-Azerbaijan Parliamentary Cooperation Committee. On September 19-21 of this year, a fifteen-member delegation of the European Parliament visited Azerbaijan and discussed the issue of reinstating the relations. According to the results of the visit, it was noted with confidence that the necessary measures would be taken to avoid any circumstances that could lead to the rupture of relations in the future. Taking this into consideration, Milli Majlis overrules Articles 10 and 11 of its resolution dated 14 September 2015 in order to renew the relations with the European Parliament,” the document reads.

Background: On 10 September 2015, the European Parliament adopted a highly critical resolution against Azerbaijan. The resolution highlighted the cases of violation of fundamental human rights and freedoms, the persecution of political and social activists, and the death of a journalist.

Following this statement, Azerbaijani government decided to leave the Euronest, and voiced severe accusations and unpleasant words about the European Parliament at the official level.