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EAFJD to EC President: Stay True to EU Values in Dealing with Azerbaijan

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Old 11 Aug 15, 17:09   #1 (permalink)
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Post EAFJD to EC President: Stay True to EU Values in Dealing with Azerbaijan

European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy President Kaspar Karampetian sent a letter to European Council President Donald Tusk on July 30, regarding the latters visit to the South Caucasus on July 20-22.

Tusk in Azerbaijan

Karampetian reminded Tusk of the European Union’s (EU) core values in dealing with authoritarian regimes, specifically in the case of Azerbaijan, recalling a 2014 resolution by the European Parliament thatnotes,EU support for and cooperation with the Republic of Azerbaijan, including the ongoing negotiations for a Strategic Modernization Partnership, must be conditional on and include clauses relating to the protection and promotion of human rights.

Below is the letter in its entirety.

***

His Excellency
President of the European Council
Mr. Donald Tusk
Brussels, 30 July, 2015

Re: Your recent statement on the cooperation between the European Union and Azerbaijan

Dear Mr. President,

On July 20-22 of the current year, you visited Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan. The European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy (EAFJD) attaches great importance to such visits, as well as to a close and strong cooperation between the European Union and Armenia. EAFJD highly appreciates your emphasis on the necessity of a peaceful resolution to the Nagorno-Karabagh conflict.

During your visit to Azerbaijan on July 22, you stated that Azerbaijan is a reliable and strategic partner in the energy field; and spoke of moving EU-Azerbaijan relations forward through an ambitious new bilateral agreement, and of setting a brisk pace for the talks towards an Agreement on Strategic Partnership.

The European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy certainly welcomes the active role of the European Union in the region. EAFJD regrets, however, that with such statements the European Council is sending the wrong message to the people genuinely fighting for democratization and human rights in Azerbaijan and peace in the region. In a way, it is legitimizing the politics of repression and hate-filled war rhetoric of the current Azerbaijani government. It is also damaging the credibility of the European Union as an international actor in the region, turning calls for respect for human rights and peace into mere words, and showcasing that all this plays little role when it comes to cooperation.

EAFJD recalls the resolution adopted by the European Parliament on Sept. 17, 2014, according to which EU support for and cooperation with the Republic of Azerbaijan, including the ongoing negotiations for a Strategic Modernization Partnership, must be conditional on and include clauses relating to the protection and promotion of human rights .

All the deep concerns and criticism expressed by the European Parliament, the Council of Europe and renowned watchdogs such as the Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International regarding the persistently aggravating human rights situation in Azerbaijan in the past years have been responded by either angry or cynical remarks by the current Azerbaijani government.

The urgent calls of the European Parliament (expressed in a number of resolutions) and human rights organizations to immediately and unconditionally release the human rights activists and withdraw all charges against them have practically been ignored by the current Azerbaijani government. In its Sept. 17, 2014 resolution the European Parliament repeated its position of May 24, 2012, calling on the Council to consider the possibility of targeted sanctions against those responsible for human rights violations if these persist. Nothing has changed. The Azerbaijani government successfully continues its politics of spreading fear and silencing free speech, which are being rewarded by prospects of ambitious cooperation.

EAFJD recalls the above-mentioned EP resolution which deplores the actions of the current Azerbaijani government to curb contacts between civil society, youth activists, and intellectuals from Armenia and Azerbaijan, since these contacts are of major importance for bridging the two societies and for the peace process. Both Leyla Yunus and Arif Yunus who have done important work in this regard are still in prison based on clearly trumped up allegations.

Taking all this into consideration, the logical question is: How can a government that actively hinders the grassroots peace process, encourages hate speech, spreads war rhetoric, silences free speech by harassing and imprisoning its citizens, ignores European institutions and international human rights watchdogs, and prevents the latter from entering the country be considered a reliable or trustworthy partner even if this partnership is business-related?

EAFJD sincerely hopes that by taking an adequate political stance in its current relations with Azerbaijan, the European Council stays true to the values the EU advocates, as well as its role as promoter of democracy in the region, and does not water down the demands expressed by the European Parliament, which is directly elected by more than 507 million EU citizens.

Sincerely,

Kaspar Karampetian,

President, EAFJD



The post EAFJD to EC President: Stay True to EU Values in Dealing with Azerbaijan appeared first on Armenian Weekly.


European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy President Kaspar Karampetian sent a letter to European Council President Donald Tusk on July 30, regarding the latters visit to the South Caucasus on July 20-22. Tusk in Azerbaijan Karampetian reminded Tusk of the European Union’s (EU) core values in dealing with authoritarian regimes, specifically in the case of Azerbaijan, recalling a 2014 resolution by the European Parliament thatnotes,EU support for and cooperation with the Republic of Azerbaijan, including the ongoing negotiations for a Strategic Modernization Partnership, must be conditional on and include clauses relating to the protection and promotion of human rights. Below is the letter in its entirety. *** His Excellency President of the European Council Mr. Donald Tusk Brussels, 30 July, 2015 Re: Your recent statement on the cooperation between the European Union and Azerbaijan Dear Mr. President, On July 20-22 of the current year, you visited Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan. The European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy (EAFJD) attaches great importance to such visits, as well as to a close and strong cooperation between the European Union and Armenia. EAFJD highly appreciates your emphasis on the necessity of a peaceful resolution to the Nagorno-Karabagh conflict. During your visit [...]

The post EAFJD to EC President: Stay True to EU Values in Dealing with Azerbaijan appeared first on Armenian Weekly.


European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy President Kaspar Karampetian sent a letter to European Council President Donald Tusk on July 30, regarding the latters visit to the South Caucasus on July 20-22. Tusk in Azerbaijan Karampetian reminded Tusk of the European Union’s (EU) core values in dealing with authoritarian regimes, specifically in the case of Azerbaijan, recalling a 2014 resolution by the European Parliament thatnotes,EU support for and cooperation with the Republic of Azerbaijan, including the ongoing negotiations for a Strategic Modernization Partnership, must be conditional on and include clauses relating to the protection and promotion of human rights. Below is the letter in its entirety. *** His Excellency President of the European Council Mr. Donald Tusk Brussels, 30 July, 2015 Re: Your recent statement on the cooperation between the European Union and Azerbaijan Dear Mr. President, On July 20-22 of the current year, you visited Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan. The European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy (EAFJD) attaches great importance to such visits, as well as to a close and strong cooperation between the European Union and Armenia. EAFJD highly appreciates your emphasis on the necessity of a peaceful resolution to the Nagorno-Karabagh conflict. During your visit [...]

The post EAFJD to EC President: Stay True to EU Values in Dealing with Azerbaijan appeared first on Armenian Weekly.


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