Eldar Ibrahimov: We should agree to the Madrid principles – INTERVIEW

Eldar Ibrahimov: We should agree to the Madrid principles – <font color=red>INTERVIEW </font>
# 03 August 2009 11:28 (UTC +04:00)
-If I am not mistaken, you have the most experience as a parliamentarian in Azerbaijani parliament.

-Yes, I have. I have been member of the parliament since 1985. In this interview I want to speak about some moments in my life that I have never shared with. I studied in school in the 1950s. There were hard times. Our family was large – seven brothers and a sister. Our father died early. The collective farm gave food products to us. We get higher education. I held various posts in Nakhchivan. I was elected member of Nakhchivan Supreme Council in 1985. I always respected people. I was the first to supply Nehrem and our village Jehri with water. In 1990 I was elected member of Azerbaijani Supreme Council from Jehri village. At that time Heydar Aliyev returned to Nakhchivan and was elected parliamentarian from Nehrem village. I met with him in Nakhchivan. He said to me: “You are holding a post, they will dismiss you for contacting with me.” I said: “A position is not permanent.” I have always been brave.

-The most broadcasted footage concerning the 1992 events, is your effort to speak to Heydar Aliyev over the phone in the parliament. What did you want to do then?

-The meeting of the Supreme Council was held on May 18, 1992. People’s Front Party came to power, Isa Gambar was to be the chairman of the Supreme Council. At that time I nominated Heydar Aliyev. They wanted to ignore my proposal. But I insisted. According to the legislation, the nominee must participate in the session, or must give consent. That’s why I went upstairs to phone Heydar Aliyev. First deputy chairman of the Supreme Council Ziyad Samadzadeh came with me. But the telephones were cut off. After Ziyad Samadzadeh returned from the room, he gave information about my phone call. As Azerbaijani audience knows it, I do not want speak in details. Then Arif Rahimzadeh approached me and said he agreed with me. There was great threat to my life at that time. I was told that I will be killed, if I leave the parliament. Deceased parliamentarian Kamran Rahimov led me through the back door. They beat every parliamentarian, who left the building. Later, I was one of those who were sentenced to death when New Azerbaijan Party was established. I have secrets that I will never talk about.

-Unlike the other representatives of “group 91”, you do not want to speak about what you did at that time…

-Those who had great role do not speak about it. Those who simply were in the “group 91” speak. Unfortunately, there are such people. Heydar Aliyev and his successor Ilham Aliyev always appreciated my merits.

-Is it difficult to be a parliamentarian, or not?

-Experience, knowledge and talent is needed first of all. My committee adopted 62 draft laws, let alone amendments and annexes. About 200 laws have come up to now. It is difficult. But I enjoy this work. My 24-year experience helps me. I work with experienced persons.

-But we do not see all parliamentarians work hard.

-Chairmen of committees and several specialists in the committees do all difficult work. Unfortunately, parliamentarians can not make efforts concerning the laws adopted in the committees. Sometimes they do not have time for it.

-What changed after the commissions turned into committees?

-There must be changes in fact. The committees in the Russian parliament have high authority. Our Constitution does not envisage such authority. A committee is not subordinated to the department. Departments are subordinated to committees. The committees work out the law and put it to the discussion of the parliament. Therefore, the committees provide all services. For now, we work basing on old rules. The Azerbaijani parliament does not need legislative department now. They should be abolished and merged with the committees. Parliamentarians, not departments are responsible for the legislation. They should operate within the committees. It is so in the countries, where there are committees. All this will happen in future.

-You are deputy head of Azerbaijani delegation to OSCE Parliamentary Assembly. Can we expect the Nagorno Karabakh to be solved within OSCE Minsk Group?

-I have always criticized OSCE Minsk Group. But suppose America and Russia are estranged from co-chairmanship. What will happen later? These are the biggest states of the world. Religion and language factors also play great role in the solution of the conflict. Moreover, Armenia is one of Russia’s outposts, provinces. We can not be as Armenia. Russian and U.S. Presidents have met recently. Unfortunately, they did not speak about Nagorno Karabakh. Protraction of the conflict favors them. They do not want the problem to be solved and a strong state like Azerbaijan to be established in the South Caucasus. I hope Nagorno Karabakh conflict will be solved basing on Madrid principles. There are different views, but I support these principles. For now, release of five regions and return of the IDPs to the native places is a good proposal. Later, economic relations may be established and Nagorno Karabakh’s status may be determined. We should agree to the Madrid principles. Of course, if Armenians do not flee again. But they also understand and say that Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity should be ensured. I believe that the problem will be solved due to the political will of Ilham Aliyev.

- How do you feel at the age of 64?

- I have good health. My job and my friends encourage me. I was happy with my wife, two sons and daughter at one time. I was a man, who caused envy of people. There are people who envy me today as well. My colleagues at the parliament see me as an elder.

- Why you say that you were happy at one time? Don’t you feel happy now?

- I never talk about that, but all Azerbaijan knows it. My son came to a tragic end in Iran in 2001. Loss of child is painful for every parent. Despite that 8 years have passed since that tragedy, I can’t come to life still. At that time alongside with my friends, Heydar Aliyev, whom I see as my father, calmed and encouraged me. He was frequently calling me after my son’s death. Every time when he called me I cried as a little child. I never talked about that and it was painful for me.

- Was your son single?

- No. He was married. I bought for him an apartment, but he never lived there. He left for Iran on august 1, 2001 and his body returned home on august 31. Therefore I can’t feel happy. My friends never leave me alone, but they can’t cause me to forget this pain. The sons frequently forget the fathers’ death. I saw that. My father and brother died. I have no foe, but if I have I never wish him a loss of his child. I will be happy when I can celebrate wedding of my grandchildren. Only after that I can meet my son blameless.

- How old are your grandchildren?

- His daughter is 13, son is 11. The children are growing. I also lost my father at early age. I named my son Rza, after my father. Now his son is named after me. There are many people to calm me, but no one knows what is in my heart. I had many hard concussions after that tragedy.

- How do you feel when you visit Iran?

- I feel very hard. Once when I was in Iran I wanted to see that place where he met with an accident, but the guys didn’t allow me. I think that I have to live.

- Who is your consolation in such time?

- I have irreplaceable friends. Fattah, Siyavush, Hadi, Huseynbala, Ziyafat, Arasatun and other colleagues at the parliament are very attentive to me. They don’t leave me alone. I am thankful to them. Even journalists have special attitude to me. I have to be better. I always respected everyone I met in my life. If you want to be honorable, be honest. I always see every woman outside as my mother and sister. May God prosper all of you. Today Milli Mejlis is my family. I see everyone there, even the oppositionists as a member of my family.

- How are your relations with a “head of this family”?

- I am respecting Ogtay Asadov as a man and parliament speaker. He is also respecting me. I have good relation with vice speakers. I never have disputes with anyone, even the opposition lawmakers. The oppositionists didn’t protest me even in that time when I seriously criticized them.

- Do you think to run for the next parliamentary elections?

- I am never acting willfully. There is New Azerbaijan Party and I am one of its founders. If the party recommends me I will run. If it doesn’t recommend, I will receive my pension and continue as a member of the party. I will save loyalty to my party even I will be jobless. I was among those people who faced with the difficulties when this party was founded in Nakhchivan. There is no harm in the foundation of this party. I will never back out from this path. Azerbaijan is rapidly developing today and President Ilham Aliyev has great contribution to this development. I am always saying true.

- How do you live?

- I am living together with my wife, daughter-in-law (wife of late son) and her children. I am receiving 2000 AZN as a committee chairman and about 1000 AZN of pension. We have very simple life.

- What are your other children doing?

- My daughter is a teacher and she is married with very good man. My son is working at the Ministry of Taxes as a department chief. He was also making his career step-by-step like me. I never demanded bribe. If I helped someone and he presented me some suit, I received it.

- How are your relations with your grandchildren?

- They are the meaning of my life. I have very clever and beautiful grandchildren. Our family has own rules. The children should face with the difficulties to care about the life. No one can be arrogant.

- How do you spend spare time?

- I have a friend whom I am playing backgammon and billiard with. I am watching sport competitions and news on TV. I love to travel to the regions of Azerbaijan. Every year I am traveling to Esentuki for holiday and treatment. Thanks to Allah, I have good health.
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