BAKU, Azerbaijan, September 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
Azerbaijan has branded the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly a "failed and unfortunate initiative" and has challenged its fellow member states to explain why it should remain a member.
The Chairman of the Azerbaijani Delegation to the Euronest PA, Elkhan Suleymanov, has written to his colleagues as a "last resort", telling them that the body, constituted in 2011, is now "bogged down by indecision, platitudes and double standards."
Azerbaijan has already said it will boycott the Fourth Ordinary Session, which is set to take place in the Armenian capital Yerevan next year. The reason cited is the continued occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding regions by Armenian troops, and the unheeded international resolutions for those troops to withdraw.
Now Suleymanov has floated the idea of permanently leaving the group that was set up as a joint-forum for the European Parliament and the Eastern European Partners (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine).
"Why should Azerbaijan remain a member of Euronest? Can we ever expect true equal treatment? I am eager to see your response," he asked of his colleagues in an open letter.
Azerbaijan was last week angered by a European Parliament motion calling for the release of activist Leyla Yunus, who is presently embroiled in a criminal case involving the alleged embezzlement of tens of thousands of euros from a string of NGOs with which she was involved in Azerbaijan.
Her case has a long way to go before it is decided by the Azerbaijani courts, yet the motion called for the case against her to be dismissed without hearing the evidence and despite the fact the case came about as part of Baku's anti-graft drive.
Referring to the Yunus case in his letter, Suleymanov wrote: "Would the European Parliament cooperate with a partner that on one hand publishes documents promoting the rule of law and on the other, actively tries to interfere in judicial processes of its partner countries?"
On his accusation of double-standards, he said Euronest has turned a blind eye to Armenia, which, having signed up to Vladimir Putin's Customs Union, has in the process invalidated its cooperation with the European Union.
SOURCE Azerbaijan Monitor