In the Wake of Crimea Crisis, Azerbaijan Calls on Washington to Support its Territorial Integrity
BAKU, Azerbaijan, April 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
Amid the diplomatic tough talk and sanctions that have been imposed on Russia over its annexation of Crimea, Azerbaijan has this week accused Washington of "double standards and hypocrisy" over its annexed territories, Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding provinces.
These regions of Azerbaijan have been occupied by Armenia for 24 years in clear violation of international law but, says Azerbaijan MP Elkhan Suleymanov, the United States ignores this breach of its territorial integrity and the suffering of one million displaced people.
In a letter to U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden and Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner, Suleymanov called on the U.S. to afford Azerbaijan's territorial integrity the same level of diplomatic concern it is presently giving to Ukraine.
"A law is a law and should never be interpreted differently for different countries. Azerbaijan has almost one fifth of its territory under occupation for 24 years by Armenian soldiers, who control and do as they please in Nagorno-Karabakh," Suleymanov wrote.
"Where are the sanctions against Armenia?" he asked, as the world steps up the diplomatic pressure on Moscow.
Suleymanov pointed out that rather than punish the aggressor; it is Azerbaijan that has been punished by the U.S. via the controversial Section 907, which bans American support for Baku. In his letter he called for this to be repealed.
He urged the U.S. Congress "to show the same support to Azerbaijan as the statements and events supporting Ukraine and its territorial integrity, to make efforts to remove the problematic Section 907, and to respect the resolutions adopted by the United Nations Security Council," he wrote.
Suleymanov reminded Washington just how deeply the impact of the Armenian occupation is being felt in his country to this day.
"Four hundred and ten thousand people of Nakhchivan, 450,000 people of six other regions, and almost 1,000,000 Azerbaijani people - totally 1,850,000 Azerbaijani citizens - live under difficult social and economic conditions," he said, due to Armenian occupation.
As an MP Suleymanov is committed to bringing the plight of his people to the attention of the international community which, he says, forgets that resolutions by the United Nations, the European Parliament, the OSCE and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe have all condemned Armenia's occupation.
SOURCE Azerbaijan Monitor