Azerbaijan setting hopes on “Caviar diplomacy”

The chairman of Azerbaijani delegation to Euronest PA, Elkhan Suleymanov sent a letter to the President of the European Parliament, European Commission, foreign ministers of the EU member states, Co-Presidents of the Euronest PA, all members of European Parliament and Euronest PA, slamming the February 18 presidential elections in Armenia.

“Despite election violations, the international observation missions evaluated the presidential elections in Armenia as democratic, “ the Azeri MP said, further accusing Armenia of unleashing Karabakh war, perpetrating massacre in Khojalu and disregarding democratic values in blatant breach of the principles and values of the European Union and Council of Europe.

Suleymanov didn’t fail to mention construction of an airport in Stepanakert, further expressing “perplexity” that the “aggressor state” will be chairing the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe as well as continuing talks for Association Agreement with the EU.

Suleymanov went on to accuse the European institutions of double standards. In conclusion, the MP noted, “unfortunately, I received no reply to my letter dated March 18, 2013. However, I hope that my concerns won’t remain unaddressed.”

So the obvious answer is: if the first letter was not given a reply, it wasn’t deemed worthy of attention. Clearly, the Council of Europe remembers the “warm welcome” extended to PACE rapporteurs for Azerbaijan, to say nothing of the fact that Christopher Strasser has factually been declared persona non grata after the release of a report on political prisoners in Azerbaijan. Suleymanov would be better off fighting for democracy in his own country.

A letter like this might be ignored, had not Azerbaijan, named a non-democratic country in every UN and State Department report, and criticized for its violation of human rights, become suddenly “concerned” over the state of affairs in Armenia.

The MP in question had no right to offer a legal or moral assessment on Armenia’s domestic policy. Baku is well aware who actually started a war in Karabakh, but do MEPs know about it? Seems like Azeri “caviar diplomacy” and petrodollars are still able of influencing the CoE.

Meanwhile, according to the head of Armenian delegation to Euronest PA Vahan Hovhannisyan, “Suleymanov’s letter aims to disorient the MEPs who’re insufficiently aware of Karabakh conflict.”

“And though Azeri politicians’ remarks are not worthy of comment, at the next sitting, Suleymanov’s letter will be adequately replied be the Armenian delegation,” he said.