May 23, 2014 - 15:15 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Following the Azerbaijani authorities' last-minute decision to withdraw a visa already granted to Vice-President of Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE,) René Rouquet (France, SOC), effectively preventing him from attending the meetings of the PACE Bureau and Standing Committee in Baku on 22 and 23 May, the Bureau of PACE decided in Baku that no more Assembly committee meetings will be held in Azerbaijan for two years, as of 1 June 2014, Council of Europe’s official website said in a statement.
This decision will not apply in the case of missions to observe elections.
When taking its decision, the Bureau held that there had been a violation of the General Agreement on Privileges and Immunities of the Council of Europe, and its Paris Protocol, which enshrine the dual principle of the non-liability of parliamentarians and their inviolability, as well as that of the free movement of members of the Parliamentary Assembly. However, the measure could be lifted by the Bureau if the Azerbaijani authorities guarantee freedom of movement of Assembly members in Azerbaijan when travelling on Assembly business.
On August 2, Azeri Foreign Ministry published the notorious blacklist, which includes Slovak politician Frantişek Mikloşko, Argentinean parliamentarian Jose Arbo, Russian expert Andrey Areshev, Baroness Caroline Cox, opera star Montserrat Caballé and many other famous personalities.