BAKU, Azerbaijan, September 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
Azerbaijan has signalled it will boycott the Fourth Ordinary Session of the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly due to take place in the Armenian capital in the first quarter of next year.
The Chairman of the Azerbaijani Delegation to the Euronest PA, Elkhan Suleymanov, has cited three reasons for his country's decision to stay away from the Yerevan meeting: The continued occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding regions by Armenia, the imperiled Sarsang Reservoir, and the ongoing blockade of Nakhchivan.
"The Azerbaijani Delegation once again states that it definitely objects to holding Euronest PA plenary sessions, Bureau and committee meetings in Armenia and refuses to attend those sessions and meetings," he wrote in a letter the Euronest co-chairs.
Suleymanov, who campaigns on behalf of those affected by the continued Armenian occupation, said it is unthinkable that he, as head of the Azerbaijani delegation to the Euronest PA, could visit Yerevan while so many of his countrymen continue to suffer.
"The Armenian occupation created one million displaced persons and their suffering will only end when this occupation ends," he said.
Armenia still occupies about 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory despite resolutions in the United Nations Security Council, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the Organisation of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the European Parliament.
Suleymanov says all international bodies - including the Euronest PA- should be holding Yerevan to account for its failure to adhere to these resolutions, rather than honouring the Armenian capital with a visit in 2015.
Moreover, he believes the very idea of staging the session in Yerevan is further proof that the international community has turned its back on the so-called "forgotten" conflict, which exploded into life during the summer when Armenian troops breached the ceasefire leaving dozens dead.
In his letter, Suleymanov mentioned the plight of almost 400,000 people who live downstream from the decrepit Sarsang Reservoir - which Armenia has denied essential maintenance and now risks collapse - and the suffering of those living in the Nakhchivan exclave who remain cut off from the rest of their country due to the Armenian blockade.
SOURCE Azerbaijan Monitor