Chairman of Lithuanian Seimas Committee Justinas Karosas: Azerbaijan should strengthen efforts to achieve Nagorno Karabakh conflict’s discussion in European Parliament – EXCLUSIVE

Chairman of Lithuanian Seimas Committee Justinas Karosas: Azerbaijan should strengthen efforts to achieve Nagorno Karabakh conflict’s discussion in European Parliament – <font color=red>EXCLUSIVE </font>
# 25 October 2007 17:06 (UTC +04:00)
-Mr. Karosas, what is the aim of your visit to Azerbaijan?
-We want to activate interparliamentary relations with these visits. I think that these relations have been superficial up to now, though the cooperation between the executive bodies of the two countries developed long ago. Azerbaijani president twice visited Lithuania recently. Our presidents met in the framework of Krakow summit and in energy forum in Vilnius several times. Being politicians we also want to extend the relations between our parliaments. We should admit that unlike executive bodies, the parliamentarians have no broad opportunities for this. We are more engaged in political activity rather than practical, we can only exchange practice in parliament’s activity and making laws. Besides, the parliamentarians are engaged in the solution of the organizational issues related to the activity of the legislative body, establishing relations with the opposition and development of democratic processes.
-What concrete proposals do you have for the improvement of the relations between Azerbaijani and Lithuanian parliaments?
-We studied the situation during our visits. One of our aims was to get the proposals of Azerbaijani parliamentarians for improving the relations between the legislative bodies. We wanted to know what kind of assistance our colleagues await and how this assistance can be realized. We intend to invite Azerbaijani parliamentarians to Vilnius. I think that we will be able to discuss more concrete forms of cooperation. This time we also aimed at familiarizing with the situation. We should not forget that this was the second visit of Lithuanian parliamentarians to Azerbaijan, the first one was in 2003.
-Are you searching possible forms of cooperation now?
-You are quite right. Now we are mostly interested in the proposals of our Azerbaijani colleagues for extending the relations.
-Lithuania is the member of a number of international organizations. How is cooperation with Azerbaijan realized in the framework of these organizations?
-We closely cooperate with Azerbaijan in the framework of international organizations. There are good opportunities for us to help each other in the solution of common problems. For example, we discussed Lithuania’s chairmanship of OSCE while visiting Baku. We intend to chair the organization in 2010. That’s why, we need the support of some OSCE members and we asked our Azerbaijani colleagues to support our intention. OSCE chairmanship gives advantages to the country and creates broad opportunities while making the decisions. I think that it is important to express solidarity not only in the framework of OSCE, but other international organizations as well.
-As to solidarity, can Azerbaijan rely on Lithuania’s support in solution of fateful problems? Will Lithuania support Azerbaijan in the debates of the Post-Soviet “frozen conflicts” in the UN?
-We support peaceful solution to existing conflicts and we are ready to support any country, as well as Azerbaijan in this context. Following this, I regard necessity of intensification of lobbying above-said issue by expanding spectrum of international organizations. This problem is also lobbied in European Parliament superficially. Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict can be debated in European Parliament with the support of our compatriots and parliamentarians.
-Can discussion of this conflict in European Parliament give any result for the solution of the conflict?
-I regard that active informative work should be done. For example, Armenians are actively engaged in their “genocide” problem. They achieved lobbying this issue passing through all international institutions and they achieved declarations, resolutions. I think that a lot of measures of informative character should be taken regarding Nagorno Karabakh conflict, essence of the problem. For example, we were thoroughly informed about the real essence of the conflict in the meetings we had in Baku. Even we reviewed the map. I think that this issue should be largely covered through active information support, active lobbyist activity.
- Does OSCE fulfill its duty regarding the solution of the problem?
-I regard that activity of this organization is of humanitarian character most of all. I think that OSCE is not able to influence strongly on the solution of the problems like European Parliament, or UN.
-You think that European Union is the strongest trustworthy organization, isn’t it?
- Naturally, it is so. This is the only international organization, and European countries fulfill all its decisions.
-As you noted, Lithuania has more working experience in international organizations compared with Azerbaijan. Can your country help Azerbaijan in democratization process? For example, presidential elections will be held in our country next year…
-If you speak about our election legislation, or election system, we are ready to assist if receive any appeals of our compatriots.
- Will Lithuanian observers participate in presidential elections to be held in 2008 in our country?
-Of course, if we are invited, we are ready to observe the elections. And we will be grateful for this invitation. We have great experience in this field, our observers attended elections held in Turkey and Ukraine this year.
-Did you discuss this issue in the meetings you held in Baku?
-No, we did not speak about it.
-What other issues did you discuss except expansion of interparliamentary relations in the meetings?
-Of course, issues concerning economics. Europe is interested in finding alternative energy sources. One of these alternatives is related with South Caucasus region. Therefore we touched on Odessa-Brodi-Plotsk project. There is political will for realizing this project, as your industry and energy minister Natig Aliyev said. We have only to solve problems on commercial technical plan. Concrete measures will be taken after this work ends. /APA/