Chairman of Azerbaijani Delegation to Euronest Parliamentary Assembly Elkhan Suleymanov has sent a letter of protest to the European People’s Party and the Group of EPP in the Parliamentary Assembly regarding EPP member, MEP Mr. Frank Engel’s behaviour and statements.
The letter was sent Chairman, European People’s Party Mr. Joseph Daul, Secretary General, European People’s Party Mr. Antonio López-Istúriz, Chairman, EPP Group in the European Parliament Mr. Manfred Weber and Secretary-General, EPP Group in the European Parliament Mr. Martin Kamp.
SIA reports that the letter says:
“I write to you in my quality as Member of the Parliament of the Republic of Azerbaijan, currently sitting in the Group of the European People’s Party in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and Chairman of the Azerbaijan Delegation to the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly in the European Parliament. As a fellow EPP member and promoter of EPP values and ideas in Azerbaijan, I feel it is my duty to bring to your attention and deplore the behaviour and statements of another fellow member, Mr. Frank Engel, MEP.
Mr. Engel, who heads the EPP Delegation from Luxembourg, has recently decided to chair a so-called “Nagorno-Karabakh Group” in the European Parliament. His movement professes to support the self-entitled authorities of those territories, as well as to organize visits of MEPs and European politicians to the area now and in future.
We need to point out several facts. Nagorno-Karabakh, together with seven other regions of Azerbaijan, has been militarily occupied by Armenian troops for over two decades. The occupation has been condemned by every single international organisation in the world and this so-called regime has not been recognized by any state of the world.
Visiting this illegitimate regime founded in the territory of Azerbaijan with the help of the Armenian military, which currently occupies it, constitutes a crime. Aiding or even promoting this violation of the territorial integrity of a country should be considered no less than a violation of international law, as well as the very principles of the EPP Party and Groups. At a time like this, when the crisis of Ukraine is still on-going, it can be seen as promoting conflict and war in the South Caucasus.
Mr. Engle has publicly called Nagorno-Karabakh a “democratic republic”. The area is in fact a military experiment of Armenia, founded through violent aggression and massacres, such as the 1992 Khojaly Genocide.
As a member of the EPP, I cannot see how this kind of public discourse and behaviour can be anything but a grave violation of everything the party and its subdivisions in various European institutions stand for. I am appalled to see Mr. Engel use his position and chairmanship of the Luxembourg delegation in the European Parliament to promote war, territorial occupation and the trivialisation of massacres and human rights abuses.
I ask from you for the immediate censure and exclusion of Mr. Frank Engel from all EPP-affiliated organisms. I also believe it vital if the EPP will distance itself publicly from the kind of affirmations he has made, and if it calls for its members to refrain from abetting such actions.
We strongly believe that anything short of this threatens to put a dangerous strain on the relations that the Republic of Azerbaijan has with Europe. More than this, it will be seen as a signal of support for violent military aggression and the violation of territorial integrity of other countries. It can also support the escalation of tensions in the contact area of Nagorno-Karabakh and be seen by the Armenian side as a cheque in blank for further aggression.
Much relies on your answers, honourable chairmen. I kindly request, therefore, a timely answer to my letter. Please take into consideration the fact that my words will represent the view of all Azeri politicians, in particular those belonging or who presently want to adhere to the EPP family.
Please accept the expression of my warm regards.”