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Azerbaijan Says Europe Can't Ignore Frozen Conflict of Nagorno Karabakh in 2013

BAKU, Azerbaijan, January 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

Azerbaijan has taken its case over the occupation of its land by Armenia to five separate European parliaments in 2012 and has vowed to continue raising awareness about the Frozen Conflict in Nagorno Karabakh and other Azerbaijani territory throughout 2013.

Member of Azerbaijani Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Elkhan Suleymanov, said throughout last year hearings were held in the Belgian, Italian, Finnish, Spanish, and Andorran Parliaments. The purpose of these sessions was to get those national bodies to "demand the implementation of the decisions adopted by international organizations regarding the military occupation."

"The failure to implement the decisions of the international organizations may be actually evaluated as their support to aggressive Armenia," he said in a recent interview.

"(The) Nagorno Karabakh conflict that Azerbaijan faces is not a conflict, but an armed aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan and the occupation of our territories by Armenia." This, he added, is a key distinction often overlooked by European parliamentarians and the media.

Suleymanov said the war has resulted "great moral and material damage to Azerbaijani nation" and has so far cost more than $431.5 billion.

Turning to the report on the conflict produced by PACE in 2012, Suleymanov said he was pleased that Azerbaijan was able to highlight through the committee the lack of "tangible results" in resolving the conflict despite the involvement of PACE, the European Parliament, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and United Nations Security Council.

As a result of this inaction the rights of one million Azeri citizens continue to be violated and Armenia continues to occupy 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory.

But he says these stark figures are often lost amid the statements from bodies, including PACE, about human rights in his country. This despite the fact that Azerbaijanis enjoy unrestricted internet access and online newspapers as well as online television, allowing for free and lively debate.

Suleymanov said there is an "anti-Azerbaijani stance" among some European institutions, which amounts to an "attempt to put political pressure on our country".

"I would like to state that Georgia has been presented as a model country in the sphere of democracy and in ensuring human rights," he said, until a Council of Europe report declared there were 200 political prisoners in that country.

Suleymanov said that despite the success of his awareness campaign in 2012 he will step up his efforts in 2013, adding that like every Azerbaijani, he looks forward to the liberation of their occupied land.


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