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Last updated on April 16, 2014 at 17:34 EDT

Azerbaijan Boycotts Euronest Following its Election Evaluation U-Turn

November 5, 2013

KIEV, Ukraine, November 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –

During the bureau meeting of the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly in Kiev, Ukraine, the
head of Azerbaijan’s delegation issued a statement explaining why he is set to boycott the
body following its recent motion in which it criticised the Presidential election in
Azerbaijan.

Euronest PA last month passed the motion in defiance of its own observer delegation,
which had found the poll to be “free, fair and transparent”.

In his letter to Euronest, the Chairman of the Azerbaijani Delegation, Elkhan
Suleymanov, asked: “What’s the actual position of the European Parliament? Does it want to
cooperate with Azerbaijan and create peace and stability in South Caucasus? Does it
recognise its reports and delegation?”

He went on to condemn Article 32 – the motion criticising the election – before
announcing the withdrawal of Azerbaijan’s Euronest delegation.

“Azerbaijan will stop its activity in this institution during the Armenian
chairmanship of the Euronest PA from EaP component until the liberation of Azerbaijani
territories from the occupation,” he said, a reference to Armenia’s occupation of about 20
per cent of Azerbaijani territory.

Suleymanov reminded his Euronest colleagues that observer missions of the European
Parliament, PACE and OSCE PA had all found the election to be fair, with the ODIHR verdict
the stand-out exception.

Yet Euronest chose to side with ODIHR in defiance of its own observer team. This, he
said previously, amounted to “political sabotage”.

In a landslide result, incumbent Ilham Aliyev won the election of October 9th, with
exit polls by American pollsters Arthur J. Finkelstein finding voters in no mood for
change, given Azerbaijan’s booming economy and the President’s high ratings on the issues
of security and Nagorno-Karabakh.

The territory and surrounding regions continue to be occupied by Armenia despite
resolutions in the United Nations, the European Parliament, the OSCE and the Parliamentary
Assembly of the Council of Europe.

European Parliament President Martin Schultz said recently: “Azerbaijan and Armenia
themselves should solve this complex issue.” This contradicts the remit of the Minsk
group, which is committed to a political solution to the occupation.

Given the lingering tensions surrounding the Armenian occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh,
Azerbaijan was angered that Armenia was allowed to co-chair Euronest EaP. Now Suleymanov
says his team will only resume their seats when this inflammatory chairmanship comes to an
end.

SOURCE Azerbaijan Monitor


Source: PR Newswire