Petition initiated to prevent PACE from adopting pro-Azeri resolutions

Petition initiated to prevent PACE from adopting pro-Azeri resolutions

PanARMENIAN.Net - European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy (EAFJD, ANC of Europe) has initiated a petition and is urging active participation to prevent the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe from adopting pro-Azerbaijani resolutions that can hinder the Nagorno Karabakh peace process,The Armenian Weekly reports.

During sessions in the fall, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) subcommittees approved measures that contained pro-Azerbaijani rhetoric on the Nagonro Karabakh conflict and accused Karabagh of cutting off Azerbaijani water supplies from the Sarsang reservoir.

The OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs issued a terse statement at the time, urging international bodies to consult with the Minsk Group before issues resolutions that impede the peace process, which they were tasked to mediate.

The EAFJD is calling on immediate action, via the petition, to put an end to PACE’s “hate-filled war-rhetoric on ‪ ‎Nagorno Karabakh and the favoritism by some of its members towards ‪Azerbaijan.”

PACE is expected to vote on the following two draft resolutions on Nagorno Karabakh on Jan 26, as a joined item on the agenda: 1) draft resolution on “Escalation of violence in Nagorno Karabakh and the other occupied territories of Azerbaijan”—rapporteur Robert Walter (UK); 2) draft resolution on “Inhabitants of frontier regions of Azerbaijan are deliberately deprived of water”—rapporteur Milica Marković (Bosnia and Herzegovina).

“The Nagorno Karabakh conflict is a complex conflict the peaceful settlement of which has no other alternative. Unfortunately these two draft resolutions feed into the hate-filled war rhetoric of the current Azerbaijani government on the Nagorno Karabakh conflict and promote favoritism. Both draft resolutions evidently lack thorough, impartial research, selectively leave out crucial facts and cause harm to the negotiation process,” the petition says.

It also notes that “Mr. Robert Walter and his wife Feride Alp-Walter, marketing manager of the Middle East Association, have maintained a close relationship with the authorities and the ruling elites of Azerbaijan for a long time, including taking a high-level British trade mission to Baku in close cooperation with the Embassy of Azerbaijan and the European Azerbaijan Society (TEAS)—a lobbying organization which has strong ties with the Azerbaijani government and [President] Ilham Aliyev’s inner circle.”

As to the draft resolution written by Ms. Milica Marković, the petition says it lacks impartial and thorough research. "Despite the prompt invitations of both the Armenian and Nagorno Karabakh authorities to visit Sarsang reservoir (at “any time convenient for the rapporteur”) as initially requested by rapporteur Milica Marković, neither Ms. Marković nor technical expert Dr. Lydia S. Vamvakeridou-Lyroudia were on the ground. Thus, both the draft resolution and the technical report (which is supposed to be the basis of the draft resolution) are based on the rather approximate simulations of the corresponding Azerbaijani ministry information based on data from 1993, as well as hearsay, although there was clearly an opportunity to visit the reservoir and get acquainted with the actual state of things," it says.

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