STRASBOURG, France, June 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
Addressing the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Tuesday, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev demanded that the international community honor its many resolutions and hold Armenia accountable for its illegal invasion and occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding Azerbaijani provinces.
Noting that Azerbaijan had been subjected to invasion, ethnic cleansing and occupation on its own territory, Aliyev called the world's attention to a conflict that "puts in danger the whole region."
The Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding provinces of Azerbaijan have been occupied by Armenia for more than two decades, despite resolutions by the United Nations, European Parliament, Council of Europe and other bodies demanding that Armenia withdraw its forces. Over one million Azerbaijanis are now internally-displaced persons, including 250,000 expelled from Armenia, and over 700,000 expelled from Nagorno-Karabakh and the other occupied Azerbaijani provinces.
To that end, Aliyev noted that there is no enforcement mechanism for resolutions and declarations by prominent international bodies, relying entirely on the voluntary actions by the member-states to validate their own decisions. Without that mechanism, "the resolutions lose their substance," he said.
Aliyev pointed to what he described as the "double standard" involved when other countries are invaded and their territory is illegally taken. "Some United Nations resolutions are implemented within hours; but in our case, it has been 20 years," he said. While stressing that Azerbaijan remains committed to peaceful negotiations, he also noted that the so-called frozen conflict could not remain frozen forever.
Aliyev was in Strasbourg to commemorate Azerbaijan's accession to the Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. In his speech, he also stressed that Azerbaijan would use its turn in the role to stress the fight against corruption, which he described as a "disease" and "evil" that could hinder a society's growth and development. This is especially important in the former Soviet Union, Aliyev said. "The legacy of corruption," he noted, "severely damaged our countries."
At the same time, Azerbaijan has introduced a motion in PACE, tabled by Azerbaijani MP and PACE delegate Elkhan Suleymanov, to parallel the recent efforts against the illegal Russian annexation of Crimea. If passed, political actions would be taken against Armenia for its occupation of Azerbaijani territory. In May, the Russian Federation lost its voting rights in the Council of Europe in sanction for its actions in Crimea.
SOURCE Azerbaijan Monitor