The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has adopted two resolutions on Azerbaijan, including on “The functioning of democratic institutions in Azerbaijan” report authored by co-rapporteurs Cezar Florin Preda and Stefan Schennach, and on “Azerbaijan’s Chairmanship of the Council of Europe: what follow-up on respect for human rights?” report made by Belgian MP Alain Destexhe.
The Azerbaijani President`s Assistant for Public and Political Affairs Ali Hasanov commented on the resolutions.
In a statement given to AZERTAC, Ali Hasanov said:
– I think that by adopting these documents, which were made on the basis of subjective considerations of some anti-Azerbaijani circles and which pursue a specific purpose, PACE has once again demonstrated its biased and unfair stance against our country.
It is a well-known fact that Azerbaijan has continuously faced pressure from certain lobby groups, especially the Armenian ones
since its accession to this organization. This pressure mounted and became more severe during Thorbjørn Jagland`s tenure as Secretary General, which stemmed from his negative attitude against Azerbaijan.
It is obvious that Azerbaijan, which conducts an independent policy in line with its national interests and has a principled position, plays an active role in PACE, and this disadvantages many people. Otherwise, parliamentarians would think of the future of Europe, where Islamophobia, xenophobia, racial and religious discrimination are raging, and where cases of gross violation of human rights and freedom of expression are increasing, and would look for ways of addressing these problems.
Or they would be worried about nearly 10,000 unfulfilled resolutions of the European Court of Human Rights. Whereas Russia faces sanctions because of Crimea, they had better raise the issue of why no measures have ever been taken against Armenia, which keeps under occupation 20 per cent of Azerbaijani territory for 25 years, and they had better not so overtly demonstrate disrespect for the European fundamental values.
Ongoing artificial pressure on Azerbaijan, which is developing on the path of democracy and is preparing to sign an agreement on strategic partnership with the European Union, is yet another testament to the fact that PACE has become a tool of pressure in the hands of certain circles and is fulfilling specific orders.
Of course, it is impossible to put pressure on Azerbaijan by adopting such documents. Azerbaijan is an independent, powerful state and has domestic and foreign policy priorities, and will continue to follow its path.
The adoption of such biased documents based on subjective considerations and mounting pressure forces Azerbaijan to reconsider its relations with the Council of Europe.