BAKU, Azerbaijan, June 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has been challenged to give a fair hearing to a motion that calls for Armenia to be suspended from the institution over its occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh - just as Russia has over its recent role in Crimea.
The motion, proposed ahead of the summer session in Strasbourg next week, has been signed by 58 PACE members, making it eligible for consideration by the Political Affairs Committee or even the Monitoring Committee for the appointment of a rapporteur.
Citing Russia's suspension of voting rights by PACE on April 10, 2014, the motion calls on the Assembly to apply "one single standard and adopt exactly similar sanctions against the Armenian delegation by suspending its voting rights and excluding it from Assembly's leading bodies, until the end of the illegal occupation of Azerbaijani territories."
Azerbaijani MP and PACE delegate Elkhan Suleymanov, who is behind the motion, expressed hope that PACE Secretary General Wojciech Sawicki "will not demonstrate discrimination" and allow the issue to be discussed.
He has since written an open letter to PACE which states: "I hope that PACE leadership will demonstrate an objective position regarding the submitted motion for resolution co-signed by 58 PACE members representing 14 countries, taking into consideration the fact of the occupation of Azerbaijani territories for 22 years… as well as the application of sanctions against the Russian delegation citing Crimea."
The letter, also addressed to PACE President Anne Brasseur and Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland, further pointed out that in 2005 PACE passed Resolution 1416 which states "the occupation of foreign territory by a member state constitutes a grave violation of that state's obligations as a member of the Council of Europe."
In his letter, Suleymanov remained positive about the chances of his motion being given time.
"I believe that PACE leadership and Secretary General Mr. Sawicki will realize that it is important to discuss this document co-signed by 58 MPs during the meetings of Presidential Committee and Bureau, and bring the implementation of existing procedures to the attention of PACE," he said.
PACE has passed resolutions calling for the withdrawal of Armenian troops from Nagorno-Karabakh as has the UN Security Council (UNSC 822, 853, 874 and 887/1993), the European Parliament and the OSCE.
SOURCE Azerbaijan Monitor