upa-admin 09 Temmuz 2014 1.727 Okunma 0

Head of Azerbaijani state Mr. Ilham Aliyev delivered a speech at the regular session of the PACE. President touched upon pressing issues of the regional and global geopolitics, including the urgency of upholding norms and principles of the international law. Highlighting the importance of addressing the conflicts from this very perspective, Ilham Aliyev drew international community’s attention to the non-implementation of 4 UN SC resolutions regarding Nagorno Karabakh. Azerbaijan’s leader also pointed to the solution of the situation. In his speech that was carefully listened to, the head of state shared his views with respect to performance of the democratic institutions in Azerbaijan, work conducted in the area of tolerance, and also produced telling arguments for those who doubted the objectivity of the outcome of the presidential elections.

Success of Diplomacy: Council of Europe Must Step It Up

President Ilham Aliyev impressed the delegates with his reserved, logical, calm and confident speech at a prominent international organization. Even a handful of anti-Azerbaijan protesters, deliberately brought to the hall room, failed to disturb his equanimity. When PACE President demanded ”minor provocateurs” to be removed from the hall Ilham Aliyev kept his cool. By doing so, President demonstrated what a democratic politician, visionary statesman and a skilful diplomat he was.

Indeed, on that very day PACE’s agenda included yet another success of Azerbaijan’s foreign policy – assuming of Chairmanship in the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers. This is not some ordinary event because for many years international community had failed to demonstrate necessary resolve towards fair resolution of the problems emanating from Armenia’s aggression against Azerbaijan. Displaying ostensible activity, the OSCE’s Minsk Group actually achieved no concrete results. Co-chairs have visited the region on numerous occasions and held discussions with Azerbaijani and Armenian leadership, yet no tangible steps were taken to honour the agreements reached. International organizations (UN, OSCE, Council of Europe, European Union and others) have adopted number of documents calling for occupational forces’ withdrawal from the occupied Azerbaijani territories to no avail.

President made it very clear to the delegates attending the session. Responding to one of the questions President said, ”They (reference to Armenians – think that on this issue the Minsk Group is sufficient and according to them, there is no alternative to that mediation mission. But, this format is yet to produce any results, and Council of Europe must be more active on this issue”.

International community must pay attention to this idea of Azerbaijani leader because a lack of optimism regarding the prospects of the negotiations is grounded into concrete facts. For instance, UN SC adopted 4 resolutions regarding the settlement of the conflict but they have remained on paper. Several times the heads of the Minsk Group co-chair states issued statements concerning the principles and ways of the resolution of this problem; nevertheless, Armenia rejected their implementation and continues to defy them.

Whims of the official Yerevan are still continuing. Armenia turns a blind eye on every constructive proposal. Ilham Aliyev recalled his recent meeting with S. Sargsyan in Vienna. Armenia still dodges the elements that were agreed upon there. What is this? Ilham Aliyev’s remarks in this context must serve as a lesson for the international organizations.

During the PACE session the President said, ”…From time to time, we have bilateral meetings with the Armenian President, most recently in November in Vienna. That produced some optimism and we even elaborated on that publicly, but the old tactics of making a minor step forward and then delaying the process have continued. Without the active involvement of the international community, Armenia would try to continue what they have done so far”.

This is the core of the problem. Armenia continues to use the same time-tested trick. Yerevan is aware that it will face no opposition from the international community for its behavior. This is why Ilham Aliyev issued a warning. And Azerbaijan will undoubtedly increase its efforts in this direction during its chairmanship in PACE’s Committee of Ministers.

Providing the delegates with information regarding the vandalism of the Armenians in the occupied territories and destruction of historical-cultural monuments bears particular significance. President underscored that in the beginning of the XX century historically Azerbaijani lands of Irevan were ”made a capital for the Armenian state”. To be precise, that was the outset – the start of the occupation. If not for the establishment of an Armenian state on the historically Azerbaijani lands, the world would not have had to witness Armenian atrocities in Karabakh. It was then that the foundation of the policy of double standards was laid.

Ilham Aliyev: International Law Must Be Upheld

This aspect was evident also during PACE’s recent session. President of Azerbaijan was asked about the ”political prisoners”. He responded clearly and with his arguments pointed to the motives of such questions. Those who for years have failed to take any action against Armenia are searching for problems in Azerbaijan on every occasion, including the abuse of the notion of a ”political prisoner”. Azerbaijani side is perfectly aware of that.

Pointing out the motives behind all of this President Ilham Aliyev said, ”There are no political prisoners in Azerbaijan. All of what you have said is based on false information or your biased approach to our country. Not for the first time you are trying to insult Azerbaijan, but without any visible success… Once again the attempts to attack our country are absolutely groundless. They will have no results”.

Generally, all of these contradictions hamper conflict resolution and development of international relations. Nonetheless, it is not an impasse. Leader of Azerbaijan went on to make a concrete proposition to that end. President Aliyev underscored the importance of developing a mechanism of implementation of internationally adopted resolutions. There is one delicate aspect in terms of substance of the foreign policy.

Azerbaijan adheres to norms and principles that concur with civilized and democratic rules. The country is trying to liberate its occupied territories in line with the international law. This is yet another testimony of Azerbaijan being a peace-loving and a just state. The issue is also important from the perspective of an Armenian President aiming to create false perception about the conflict. In his speeches he, on one hand attempts to portray Azerbaijan as an uncivilized state, while on the other hand, tries to justify his policy of aggression by religious contradictions.

Allegedly the Muslims are pressuring the Christians, violate their rights and resort to terrorism against them. We must not forget that Armenian politicians are also capitalizing on the efforts of certain quarters in the West that aim to shape an evil image of Islam. Double standards are something that feeds the Armenian vandalism in the region.

In light of all of this Azerbaijan is highlighting the norms and principles of the international law – something that is completely compatible with the essence of Azerbaijan’s domestic and foreign policy. Democratic institutions in the country are fully operational. President Aliyev spoke extensively on this subject at PACE. Protection of human rights is ensured completely. There are no problems with the freedoms of speech and media. President called the claims of any media restrictions preposterous because censorship in Azerbaijan was lifted long time ago.

Every citizen freely practices affiliated religion. Just like the mosques, churches, synagogues and other places of worship welcome the visitors. State renders constant care and attention to their activity. Highest degree of tolerance in Azerbaijan is known far and wide. Nobody is persecuted or oppressed because of the religious views. Our country is home to tens of thousands of Armenians.

Ilham Aliyev had also emphasized that Azerbaijan totally respects the individuals’ right of assembly. Immediately after the presidential elections different rallies were authorized in the centre of Baku. And the fact that they failed to draw significant number of people was another testimony to the objectivity of the elections. Thus, it was totally groundless for someone from the PACE to claim that falsifications were allowed. In their statements representatives from the Council of Europe had recognized that elections were held in a transparent, democratic and fair environment.

All of this demonstrates that the most recent speech by the President of Azerbaijan was truly historic. It was a next step forward in the foreign policy. Official Baku proves that we are a civilized nation on the European scale. Azerbaijan showcases its systemic and calculated foreign policy by signing a new agreement related to the strategic partnership with the European Union. Taking a look at the geopolitical positions of the countries in the South Caucasus it becomes evident that Azerbaijan is the only nation whose position corresponds to the modern demands.

Ideas voiced by the President during the PACE’s last session captured attention of the big powers. Prior to his visit to Austria President Putin said that he was ready to work towards fair resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. And of course it is a serious development that along with the Council of Europe and the European Union, such a powerful player as Russia is keen to cooperate with Azerbaijan.

The point is that accommodation of the interests of the geopolitical powers is becoming ever more challenging. But the foreign policy pursued by the official Baku has enabled just that. The people of the country are no doubt appreciative of the state leadership’s diplomatic success in Strasburg. Azerbaijan is only going to boost its international relevance through the chairmanship in Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers. In the meantime, Armenia’s true colors will once again be exposed for the international community. These are the factors that bring the victory evermore closer.


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