Azerbaijan delegation decides to cease its engagement with and presence at PACE - STATEMENT

Azerbaijan delegation decides to cease its engagement with and presence at PACE - STATEMENT
# 24 January 2024 18:17 (UTC +04:00)

On January 24, the parliamentary delegation of Azerbaijan to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) made a statement at the meeting of the organization, APA reports.

The statement reads:

“The Republic of Azerbaijan is a proud, independent, sovereign, democratic and multicultural nation. Democracy is our conscious choice and we have made tremendous progress in upholding human rights and rule of law in Azerbaijan since gaining our independence in 1991.

The primary objective of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) is to provide a platform for dialogue between parliamentarians from different countries, based on the mutual respect and equal footing.

When Azerbaijan acceded to the Council of Europe in 2001, it was with the genuine hope and expectation that this organization designed to defend the human rights and the rule of law, would help Azerbaijan to restore the rights of hundreds of thousands Azerbaijanis violated as a result of the military aggression and the occupation of a part of its internationally recognized territories by Armenia, and consequently, the justice would be served for the sake of reaching the lasting peace in the region.

During 19 years, from 2001 to 2020, the PACE failed to hold the aggressor state Armenia accountable for its actions contradicting the core values and principles of the Council of Europe. It concerns in particular the blatant disregard for the human rights of the Azerbaijani refugees and IDPs subjected to ethnic cleansing.

After Azerbaijan’s historic victory over the aggression, the occupation and the violent separatism, and the restoration of its territorial integrity and sovereignty, we face an orchestrated smear campaign to denigrate Azerbaijan, and cast shadow on its achievement to restore the justice denied for so long to the people of Azerbaijan. During almost 20 years when Azerbaijani delegation was raising grave consequences of Armenian occupation, we were told that the PACE is not a right format to discuss conflict-related issues. But now, the same PACE and the same MPs say quite the opposite and don’t miss any opportunity to attack Azerbaijan. Selective interpretation of international law and different treatment of issues pertaining to territorial integrity and sovereignty of states, demonstrate the cynical and hypocritical nature of the authors of this shameful proposal.

Unfortunately, the PACE is being used as a platform to target some member states. Core principles of the PACE are exploited by certain biased groups to advance their narrow interests. Political corruption, discrimination, ethnic and religious hatred, double standards, arrogance, chauvinism have become prevailing practice in the PACE.

We see the initiative on challenging the credentials of the delegation of Azerbaijan to the PACE as a part of this vicious campaign. We also consider this initiative as a deliberate and unacceptable attempt to unduly interfere with the ongoing electoral process in Azerbaijan and vivid example of insidious actions to undermine the functioning of democratic institutions in our country. The proposed refusal to ratify the credentials of our delegation will be a serious blow to the credibility and impartiality of the Council of Europe as a whole, and the responsibility for its grave and irreversible consequences will entirely lie with its initiators.

Nobody in the world, including those sitting in this hall can speak with Azerbaijan in the language of threat and blackmailing. Never before in the history of the PACE, this organization behaved in such disgraceful manner.

In the face of current unbearable atmosphere of racism, Azerbaijanophobia and Islamophobia in the PACE, the delegation of Azerbaijan decides to cease its engagement with and presence at the PACE until further notice.”

After making the statement, the delegation departed from the venue.

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