Azerbaijan Stresses Importance of White House Petition on Liberation of its Occupied Territories, Irrespective of Eventual U.S. Response

May 30, 2016, 03:29 ET from Azerbaijan Monitor

BAKU, Azerbaijan, May 30, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --

The proponent of a White House petition, which demands the withdrawal of Armenian troops that are illegally occupying some 20% of Azerbaijani territory, says he believes the petition itself is important, irrespective of the White House response.

Elkan Suleymanov, the President of the non-profit Association for Civil Society Development in Azerbaijan (ACDA), said he "seriously questions an objective response" from the White House to the petition, due to "long term and on-going global political pressure on our country by power states and international organisations."

The petition has received over 330,000 signatures, more than triple the number needed to secure a reply by the Obama administration. Over the weekend Suleymanov stressed the importance of the petition even if the White House were to give only a "formalistic" reply.

The petition requests that Armenia withdraws its troops from the Nagorno-Karabakh region, in line with past UN resolutions and a recent call by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). It also called upon the White House "to assist in the prevention of a humanitarian catastrophe in the region" because of the dangers posed by the neglected Sarsang dam, which is located in the Armenian-occupied territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.

"I guess that the White House Administration will not explicitly endorse PACE Resolution 2085 (2016)," said Suleymanov. "It will probably neglect the part of our call in the petition expressing the assistance for preventing a humanitarian catastrophe due to the current conditions of the Sarsang reservoir and divert the attention from the main provisions of the resolution by stating the importance of inspections by independent experts and dialogue hosted by the OSCE Minsk Group over the discussion of the issue of water release," he concluded.

However, the ACDA president noted that the petition enjoys great importance irrespective of the White House response. "We won't stop our struggle for the liberation of Azerbaijani territories from occupation," Suleymanov said, pointing out the significance of bringing the issue to the American people.

"The facts that Armenia is an aggressor, that Nagorno-Karabakh and other territories of Azerbaijan are under the control of Armenian armed forces are on the White House's official website and that millions of people visiting the website obtain this information for over two months are very important and a significant activity on the way to the liberation of our territories from occupation," Suleymanov said.

The Azerbaijani region of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding provinces were occupied by Armenia during the post-Soviet power vacuum, resulting in about 30,000 deaths and nearly one million refugees and internally displaced people. In addition to PACE, many other international bodies, including the United Nations, European Parliament and the OSCE have called for the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian troops from the Azerbaijani territories.

SOURCE Azerbaijan Monitor