By Sara Rajabova
Azerbaijani MPs will respond to the biased statements about the country at an upcoming session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
“The forthcoming session of PACE is very important for us because the report ‘The functioning of democratic institutions in Azerbaijan’ will be heard there. It is also planned to discuss the situation on Azerbaijan in the Monitoring Committee,” said Samad Seyidov, head of Azerbaijani delegation to PACE.
Noting that the Azerbaijani delegation will take part in the session with new proposals, he added that this session will focus on serious issues, local media reported.
Seyidov stressed that they are preparing for biased criticism against Azerbaijan.
Some European parliamentarians, politicians, and media outlets have begun a vitriolic campaign against Azerbaijan ahead of the First European Games, which is currently underway in the country.
With accusations of violating human rights in Azerbaijan, these forces seek to tarnish the country’s image and discredit the Games.
"We know that a variety of forces, with the support of the Armenian lobby disseminate false information about Azerbaijan. We are getting ready to prevent it," Seyidov said.
He noted that he already has viewed and analyzed the initial copy of the report on Azerbaijan, adding that it contains a lot of biased criticism.
“Of course, it is necessary normally refer to the points that reflect reality. But we will sharply express our point of view in connection with the biased moments, consisting of double standards,” Seyidov said.
At the same time the report includes milestones related to the occupation of Azerbaijani lands by Armenia. "We are supporting this matter and will try to record it in the document, in case the report is adopted. We also know that Armenia will try to make some changes into this in this regard,” Seyidov stressed.
Armenia occupied over 20 percent of Azerbaijan's internationally recognized territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions, after laying territorial claims against its South Caucasus neighbor that had caused a lengthy war in the early 1990s.
Azerbaijan’s parliamentary delegation led by Seyidov, who is also a chairman of the committee on international relations and inter-parliamentary relations in Azerbaijani parliament, will head to Strasbourg on June 21 to participate in the summer session of the Assembly.
The delegation includes MPs Rafael Huseynov, Sabir Hajiyev, Rovshan Rzayev, Aydin Abbasov, Sahib Gafarov, Ganira Pashayeva, SevinjFataliyeva and Elkhan Suleymanov.
In meantime, Rzayev said the PACE session will raise issues with the negative and biased attitudes towards Azerbaijan.
He told Trend that he got acquainted with the draft report on Azerbaijan, which is to be presented at the session, noting it contains prejudiced statements about the country.
Rzayev said the Azerbaijani delegation at the forthcoming session, as always, will raise the issues concerning the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and the occupation of its lands by Armenia.
“All international organizations, including PACE, should be, in conformity with their decision on the fact of occupation of Azerbaijani territories, interested in solving the problem,” Rzayev said.
PACE Resolution 1416, which was adopted in 2005 reiterated that "the occupation of foreign territory by a member state constitutes a grave violation of that state's obligations as a member of the Council of Europe," demanding the unconditional withdrawal of troops from the occupied territories.
Peace talks brokered by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs representing the United States, Russia and France have been largely fruitless so far.
The negotiations are underway on the basis of the peace outline dubbed the Madrid Principles, also known as the Basic Principles. The document envisions a return of the territories surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijani control; determining the final legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh; a corridor linking Armenia to the region; and the right of all internally displaced persons to return home.