STRASBOURG, France, June 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
The President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Anne Brasseur, says a procedural hitch could stall a motion for sanctions against Armenia over its occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding territories.
Speaking at the start of the PACE summer session in Strasbourg she said the motion, which seeks to suspend Armenia's voting rights just as Russia recently lost its voting rights over Crimea, did not follow the rules.
"We have a motion tabled by Mr. Suleymanov from Azerbaijan in order to take sanctions against Armenia," she said.
"This motion has not been tabled according to the rules because it does not challenge (Armenia's) credentials," she added, pointing out it will now be referred to Friday's Bureau meeting.
Her remarks left the motion's sponsor, Azerbaijani MP and PACE delegate Elkhan Suleymanov, disappointed but defiant.
"We received 58 signatures from 14 countries in support of this motion and if we need to work through a procedural issue in order to get it heard, then we will do so," he said.
Later the PACE session was addressed by Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov who now chairs the PACE Committee of Ministers.
He reaffirmed the Committee's - and his nation's - commitment to finding peace in Ukraine, which he said highlights the often conflicting issues of self-determination and territorial integrity.
Throughout Europe, he said, self-determination works within existing boundaries and above all the legal principle of territorial integrity must remain intact. This is the case for both Ukraine's Crimea and Azerbaijan's Nagorno-Karabakh.
"It's a must in Azerbaijan that there should not be any confusion that territorial integrity was a subject for negotiation. Never ever," he told the assembly.
"You can recognise that self-determination does not mean a violation of territorial integrity."
Mammadyarov dedicated his nation's chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers to the issues of human rights, fighting corruption and a reassessment of European neighbourhood policy.
SOURCE Azerbaijan Monitor