Baku, September 22, AZERTAC
The European Parliament`s "unfair, non-objective and biased" position on Azerbaijan represents a "threat" to the EU`s interests in the South Caucasus, said chairman of the Council of State Support for NGOs under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, MP Azay Guliyev in an interview published by the European www.eureporter.co portal.
"The resolution condemns human rights in the country and threatens a major diplomatic spat between the EU and the Azerbaijan," the MP underlined.
He said democratic institutions "operate freely" and Azerbaijan is "known for its independent policy, dynamic development and high-levels of tolerance. "NGOs, media outlets, political parties and "all the elements" of civil society were allowed to operate freely," he insisted.
Guliyev went on: "Azerbaijan has always expressed its readiness for equal and mutually beneficial co-operation with the EU and its member states. But, Azerbaijan`s gestures of friendship and cooperation are not always adequately appreciated by the European institutions."
Guliyev said: "Unfortunately, despite the fact that Azerbaijan has successfully managed to protect and develop its thousand-years-old multicultural values and is always shown by international experts to be an exemplary model in this regard, there have always been some who are concerned by Azerbaijan`s achievements. It is not a secret that Armenian diaspora is the first among them."
He said he believed that the importance of Azerbaijan`s cooperation with the European institutions was "incomparable" compared with other countries, and pointed out that Azerbaijan played a "crucial role in the energy security of Europe".
"With an economic recession and citizens in the poverty, Armenia is unable to make any contribution to the "Eastern Partnership" program."
"However, despite a political regime which has brutally dispersed protests of soldiers` mothers and those who complain about their social situation, the attitude of the West towards Armenia is completely different. And yet, the regime is not criticized." Guliyev said evidence of this comes from Vahan Martirosyan, chairman of the Armenian opposition "National Liberation Movement", who fled from oppression in Armenia to Azerbaijan.
He added: "One shouldn`t forget that Azerbaijan plays a crucial role in the energy security of Europe. However, in exchange, some of those in the West, at the instigation of Armenian diaspora, carry on a campaign aimed to discredit Azerbaijan and damage its international image." The parliamentarian says that on September 15, the Armenian National Committee of America "thanked Armenian diaspora for souring the relations between the European Parliament and Azerbaijan and described the European Parliament resolution as the victory of the Armenian lobby."
"This," he added, "is the clear proof of what we have said: most European politicians, represented both in the leadership of the European Parliament and in the various political groups, are under the influence of Armenian diaspora or personal interests play their role in a smear campaign against Azerbaijan.
Guliyev noted: "As a sign of protest against the unjustified European Parliament resolution, the Azerbaijani parliament decided to quit the EURONEST PA, one of the major institutions of the 'Eastern Partnership'. This means a possible collapse of the ENP."
The parliamentarian believes it is time for the European Parliament, which he says has become a "hostage to Armenia", to restore a "sense of reality, correct its mistake and renounce these unjustified, biased and non-objective decisions against Azerbaijan."