It is critical to underscore that the next confrontations around the occupation of Azerbaijani territories by Armenia occurred about the first item of the draft report “The functioning of democratic institutions in Azerbaijan” prepared by the co-rapporteurs of the Monitoring Committee, Pedro Agramunt, and Tadeusz Iwinski, at the June session in late May early June 2015.
The first item of the draft report underlined that “the Assembly is fully aware of the occupation by Armenia of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven other districts of Azerbaijan that dominates most of Azerbaijan’s foreign policy agenda”.
However, the Armenian lobby and the anti-Azerbaijani forces could not accept the recognition of Armenia as an aggressor country. Therefore, the Armenian lobby and the anti-Azerbaijani forces have launched wide-ranging attacks against Azerbaijan after the report was published on the website of PACE on 21 May 2015.
I should also underline that the leading power centers have immediately intensified their anti-Azerbaijani campaign after we managed to have retained the expression of “Nagorno-Karabakh and seven other districts of Azerbaijan occupied by Armenia” in the first item of the draft resolution at the 28 May 2015 meeting of the Monitoring Committee. They instructed their satellites in different intergovernmental organizations and NGOs to simultaneously launch an anti-Azerbaijani campaign from different directions.
Numerous NGOs, as well as the Human Rights House Foundation, incorporating 90 human rights organizations from 18 human rights houses from 13 countries from Eastern and Western Europe, the Caucasus and Balkans, started waging systematic attacks against Azerbaijan under the instruction of various power centers.
These organizations acted openly against the item on the occupation in the report related to the functioning of democratic institutions. In their speeches, contrary to the supremacy of the law, they were interfering in the court decision and the internal affairs of the sovereign country, suggesting amendments on human rights replicating one another. This revealed that they were mobilized for exerting pressure on Azerbaijan. This prejudiced attitude manifested itself openly in biased amendments and addenda to the draft resolution.
As was expected, the discussions around the first item envisaging the expression of “Nagorno-Karabakh and other occupied territories of Azerbaijan” were again tense at the meeting of the Assembly on 23 June 2015. The discussions that could be assessed as a “war of positions” displayed the real face of the anti-Azerbaijani forces represented at PACE, and PACE itself as a political institution. None of the PACE member countries mentioned Armenia’s occupation in the discussions. Even anti-Azerbaijan forces, especially President Anne Brasseur and Secretary General Wojciech Sawicki made no bones about exerting pressure on the co-rapporteurs, Pedro Agramunt and Tadeusz Iwinski.
The Assembly replaced the expression of “the occupation by Armenia of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven other districts of Azerbaijan,” by an expression “the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict” in permanent use. The pro-Armenian and anti-Azerbaijani forces mobilized all their resources to achieve this change and joined their efforts against Azerbaijan and co-rapporteurs’ fair demands.
The key aim of those who put forward this proposal was to change the first item of the report and to hush up the occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven other districts of Azerbaijan. They proposed four amendments to weaken this item. The reason for similar amendments was to achieve their goal if one of them failed to get approved.
Though PACE members received special instructions from their countries, they rejected three of these amendments and only the last amendment was accepted with the majority of 10 votes. Under various pretexts, PACE President Anne Brasseur put the same item to voting for several times in order to achieve her insidious goals. Even after the voting, parliamentarians in the hall did not conceal their doubts about the possibility of approval of the amendment with the majority of 10 votes.
I should note that according to the procedural rules of PACE, during discussions co-rapporteur can express their opinions on amendments. However, violating roughly PACE’s rules of procedures during the discussions, PACE President Anne Brasseur did not let the co-rapporteurs to express their opinions till the end of the discussions around the first item of the report.
When the rapporteurs protested at her, Anne Brasseur told them “you don’t have such a right” and Secretary General Wojciech Sawicki confirmed it. Only after PACE member from Spain Agustin Condi gave an in-depth explanation on requirements of the procedural rules, Anne Brasseur let the co-rapporteurs speak. However, it was almost late; Sawicki’s mission to defend Armenia was over.
These discussions once again proved that the intention behind wide-ranging pressure of PACE against Azerbaijan is to conceal the occupation of our territories by Armenia and to achieve that the occupation of Azerbaijani lands be forgotten. It clearly indicated that the key struggle would be during the discussions around the reports on “Escalation of violence in Nagorno-Karabakh and other occupied territories of Azerbaijan” and on “Inhabitants of frontier regions of Azerbaijan are deliberately deprived of water”.