Excoriating CoE For Anti-Azerbaijani Agenda, President Cementing Ties With Turkey
Souring relations between Azerbaijan and the Council of Europe have likely reached an impasse following the recent adoption by the pan-European institution of a resolution on the political prisoners in Azerbaijan.
The accusation, official Baku has repeatedly denied for many years, has been topical and high on the agenda of the two sides and has gained a momentum ahead of the February 9 snap parliamentary elections in the country.
In less than two weeks, a sharp reaction to the PACE resolution came from President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan at a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Baku on February 5.
“The latest resolution adopted in connection with Azerbaijan is of no significance, and its price is not higher than a piece of paper. We do not accept any of the fabricated accusations voiced there and will not fulfill their so-called demands. We will not comply with the so-called requirements of the Council of Europe,” Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said at a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Azartac news agency reports.
Last month, at a plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the Turkish delegation in its entirety supported the just cause of Azerbaijan, once again showing solidarity. They once again showed that they are on the side of truth and on the side of justice. The delegation of Azerbaijan, in turn, always supports Turkey, the president openly said.
Recalling his days at the CoE and close partnership relations with the Turkish mission, Aliyev hailed the cooperation as productive and beneficial for both parties.
“We, as people working in PACE, know this organization well. Unfortunately, for 20 years this organization has chosen Azerbaijan as a target, and Turkey for an even longer period. I recall how, at the very beginning of my activity in PACE, my first step as the head of the Azerbaijani delegation was the organization of a meeting with the Turkish delegation. We met on the very first day and agreed to always support each other on all issues. Unfortunately, I believe that during this period the Council of Europe is undergoing a process of degradation, this organization is losing its significance at the international level; it cannot influence the processes taking place in the world. The influence of the organization is low, and the main reason for this is pretense, double standards and injustice,” the president emphasized.
According to the president, the Azerbaijani people have long lost hopes placed on this organization. Ilham Aliyev added that for 20 years, this organization has been fulfilling various political orders and Azerbaijan has been chosen as a target and it lies and slanders Azerbaijan.
“They represent Azerbaijan as a backward country; they do not note the positive processes taking place in Azerbaijan. They try to gloss over Azerbaijan only with black paint, as if obstacles to democratic processes are being put in Azerbaijan. All this is a lie, there are no political prisoners in Azerbaijan, we know this well. And those countries where there are political prisoners remain out of focus.
"I can cite Armenia as an example, the president said, adding that the former president of Armenia had been arrested for more than a year. Robert Kocharyan was arrested after he declared that he would make a comeback to politics. A criminal case has been instituted against him and, according to information circulated by the media, his case has been referred to court. And the main reason for all this is criticism from the former president of the current government," he opined.
Citing another case of a head of a media agency, who was recently arrested, the president added that a few months earlier, a journalist went on a hunger strike and died in prison. But none of these facts was noted by the Council of Europe. Why? Why is there one attitude towards Armenia, and another towards Azerbaijan and Turkey? We well know the answer to this question, and I want to note once again that it would be good if the Council of Europe were dealt with these issues, the president opined.
Ilham Aliyev recalled the activities of Mevlut Cavusoglu as President of PACE, stressing that justice was done during his time.
You did not allow the organization to be turned into someone else’s tool. As a very independent person, you resisted all attempts at pressure and pursued an independent policy. Therefore, at that time, the Council of Europe regained its true face. But today, unfortunately, this organization, I am reiterating, does not have any authority, and the decisions they make have absolutely no significance for us, the leader said.
Our cause is just. Turkey is now the global center of power, and we are very happy about this. All successes of Turkey are very important for us, they inspire us. Together we did great things and always were on the side of truth and justice. I am sure that this will continue to be so. No third-party force can put pressure on Turkey and Azerbaijan. We are two fraternal countries and in the future we will follow the path of brotherhood, friendship, independence, Ilham Aliyev concluded.