Azerbaijan ceases its engagement with and presence at PACE

Azerbaijan ceases its engagement with and presence at PACE
Photo credit: Adrian Grycuk / Wikimedia Commons

The Azerbaijani delegation decided to cease its engagement with and presence at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) until further notice, the delegation said in a statement, following the refusal of PACE to approve the credentials of the Azerbaijani side, Trend reports.

"The Republic of Azerbaijan is a proud, independent, sovereign, democratic and multicultural nation. Democracy is our conscious choice and we have made tremendous progress in upholding human rights and rule of law in Azerbaijan since gaining our independence in 1991.

The primary objective of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) is to provide a platform for dialogue between parliamentarians from different countries, based on the mutual respect and equal footing.

When Azerbaijan acceded to the Council of Europe in 2001, it was with the genuine hope and expectation that this organization designed to defend the human rights and the rule of law, would help Azerbaijan to restore the rights of hundreds of thousands Azerbaijanis.

After Azerbaijan restored its territorial integrity and sovereignty, we face an orchestrated smear campaign to denigrate Azerbaijan, and cast shadow on its achievement to restore the justice denied for so long to the people of Azerbaijan. During almost 20 years, we were told that the PACE is not a right format to discuss conflict-related issues. But now, the same PACE and the same MPs say quite the opposite and don’t miss any opportunity to attack Azerbaijan.

We see the initiative on challenging the credentials of the delegation of Azerbaijan to the PACE as a part of this vicious campaign. We also consider this initiative as a deliberate and unacceptable attempt to unduly interfere with the ongoing electoral process in Azerbaijan and vivid example of insidious actions to undermine the functioning of democratic institutions in our country. The proposed refusal to ratify the credentials of our delegation will be a serious blow to the credibility and impartiality of the Council of Europe as a whole, and the responsibility for its grave and irreversible consequences will entirely lie with its initiators.

The delegation of Azerbaijan decides to cease its engagement with and presence at the PACE until further notice," the statement reads.

After making the statement, the delegation departed from the venue.

The credentials of Azerbaijan's delegation to PACE were challenged on the opening day of the 2024 winter plenary session. Frank Schwabe, who heads the German delegation to PACE, proposed to deny the Azerbaijani delegation's credentials because Azerbaijan violated the principles of the Organization.

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