Hypocrisy against Azerbaijan in the European Parliament continues…

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20 May 2021 marked the demonstration of European Parliament’s next anti-Azerbaijani hysteria and hypocrisy. At that day, the European Parliament adopted the resolution entitled “Prisoners of war in the aftermath of the most recent conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan”. The resolution describes the current realities in the region with extremely distorted manner. After familiarizing with the resolution, it appears clear that the Armenian mass media outlets and other Armenian resources were referred without any exceptions when it was drafted. Moreover, the essence and style of the document, the way of showing “facts” allow us to come to a conclusion that may be the document was not directly authored by Armenians, but it is clearly displayed that it has been prepared by the persons being under the influence of Armenian lobby organizations. Thus, the resolution has thoroughly been written in a hostile manner against Azerbaijan.

One of the points that should be paid attention in the resolution voted by 607 MEPs in favor is that the trilateral agreement, signed by the President of Azerbaijan, President of Russia, and the Prime Minister of Armenia on 10 November 2020, is presented as a ceasefire document. It is known that the trilateral agreement document is a document officializing the end of Karabakh war lasting 44 days, the victory of Azerbaijan and the defeat of Armenia. Despite the fact that both President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, and President of Russia Vladimir Putin repeatedly stated the end of Karabakh conflict and the start of post-war political-diplomatic relation-building activities, the European Parliament cannot digest this fact and by presenting it as a ceasefire document, tries to make a picture as if Karabakh war has not yet ended.

Another of such points is that the European Parliament insistently presents saboteurs and terrorists, who crossed to the territories of Azerbaijan from Armenia after the cessation of hostilities and committed crimes resulting in killing of Azerbaijani military servicemen and a peaceful civilian, as the prisoners of war. Here appear questions: Why do the European MPs demand the release of those Armenian saboteurs and terrorists by insistently portraying them as prisoners of war? But why didn’t they take any measure to provide the right to a fair trial for Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev, Azerbaijani civilians detained when visiting their houses in 2014, and to release them? Why even did not want to discuss this issue?

When I put forward draft resolutions on this issue in PACE and EuroNest PA (the EP institution), the European MPs rejected to discuss them. The number of Armenian saboteurs and terrorists that are portrayed as prisoners of war in the resolution indicates a miserable situation prevailing at the European Parliament. That is to say the official document of the European Parliament, an institution presenting itself as a guard of democratic values, counts all the numbers indicated on Armenian mass media and it should be noted that none of those numbers reflects the number of detained saboteurs.

Despite the fact that every time President Ilham Aliyev highlights that there is a historical chance for conclusion of a peace treaty and for future cooperation between Azerbaijan and Armenia after the settlement of conflict, the European Parliament refers to the documents which have already lost its importance. It is clear from the resolution that the European MPs urge, on one hand, to realize the trilateral statement, but on the other hand, to fulfill Madrid Principles suggested by the Minsk Group Co-Chairs in 2009. Thus, it seems this international institution is rolling down into a swamp they wanted to form between the realities of present and the past.

President of Azerbaijan apparently states that Azerbaijani side is ready to recognize the territorial integrity of Armenia within its internationally recognized boundaries and to sign a peace treaty with Armenia and that to this end, it is crucial that Armenia should recognize the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan within its internationally recognized boundaries. However, instead of encouraging Armenia to take this step, the European Parliament adopts a document that could escalate the situation in the region. How can this be understood?

The case is that the European Parliament cannot digest the settlement of Karabakh conflict without the presence of France, the member state and at the same time Co-Chair of OSCE Minsk Group. It is clearly stressed in the resolution. However, anti-Azerbaijani position of French authorities during the second Karabakh war and post-war period, their open support to Armenia, disrespect towards the norms of international law, violation of rules required for international mediation remain out of sight.

Interestingly, the European Parliament turned blind eye to and did not react when the Armenia’s military forces launched ballistic rocket attacks against the civilian population of Ganja, Tartar, Barda cities of Azerbaijan which are situated far from the combat zone during the second Karabakh war. It turned blind eye to the facts obtained after the war concerning Armenia’s crimes and acts of vandalism in the territories it kept under occupation for nearly 30 years. Why does the European Parliament keep silence about investigating the fate of 4000 Azerbaijanis went missing during the first Karabakh war? Why doesn’t the European Parliament demand Armenia to give the map of mined areas to Azerbaijan? The questions are many, but the answer is clear.

It should be noted that numerous members of the European Parliament are under the influence of Armenian lobby organizations and are financed by them. In fact, there appeared a situation that the political corruption has reached its peak in the European Parliament. Thus, wealthy Armenian diaspora organizations of various countries take the advantage of this corruption atmosphere in the European Parliament and incite MPs representing at this institution to commit criminal actions. During 30 years of our state independence, we have witnessed that the number of MPs demonstrating impartiality decreases and the documents adopted by this institution are mainly away from the realities. It means that the European Parliament and its members are not interested in what is going on in Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. What matters for them is to implement the tasks given by their sponsor Armenian lobby organizations. Thus, the officially approved goals of the European Parliament are centralized around fulfilling the tasks of sponsor Armenian lobby organizations by the MPs of this institution. This is very awkward for modern Europe speaking of the rule of law, but it is a reality.

In the recent past, I have also faced this reality existing in the European Parliament. In 2012, as the Vice-President of and the Head of Azerbaijani Delegation to EuroNest Parliamentary Assembly, I have sent a letter to Martin Schulz, then President of the European Parliament, and raised questions concerning the complicated situation in the region occurred as a result of occupation of the territories of Azerbaijan by Armenia. Martin Schulz, instead of answering my questions or suggesting the necessity to make any discussion, wrote with a particularly indifferent and unconcerned manner: “I hope that Armenia and Azerbaijan will overcome their difficult conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh”. At that time, Mr. Schulz had deliberately “forgotten” in his response about the importance of the liberation of the territories of Azerbaijan from Armenia’s military occupation within existing norms of international law. In his response, he had not wanted to talk about ending occupation at all and had laid the responsibility for settling this issue on Armenia the aggressor country and Azerbaijan the country subject to aggression.

At present, Azerbaijan has liberated its territories, the trilateral statement confirming the end of conflict has signed, the trilateral commission on opening transport communication corridors in post-conflict period between Azerbaijan and Armenia has been set up, and the works in this regard are in progress despite some delays. The European Parliament, instead of encouraging these works, demonstrated its support to the forces with revanchist attitude and put its signature under the next hypocrisy.

Elkhan Suleymanov

President of ACSDA