Head of the Azerbaijan Delegation to Euronest, Elkhan Suleymanov has addressed a letter to Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, Linda McAvan, Chairman of the Development Committee, and Elmar Brock, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, SIA informs.
The letter says:
A letter has been brought to the attention of our delegation which represents a recommendation made by the Democracy Support and Election Coordination Group in the European Parliament to the President of the European Parliament. The letter advises President Schulz to avoid sending any electoral observation mission to Azerbaijan in November 2015 and makes a series of highly negative remarks about our country.
This letter comes in the wake of an unprecedented campaign against our country in the European Parliament. Conferences and seminars, events and debates, hundreds of letters and emails have been aimed at damaging utterly the image of Azerbaijan with slanderous accusations and unproven allegations. As the Baku I European Games were unfolding, an event of European sportsmanship and positive cooperation, some MEPs it seems were bent on tarnishing its image. We are happy they did not succeed and that the athletes’ merits could be celebrated throughout the continent.
Still, this is a limit your Parliament has reached. We can only conclude you are actively trying – and are close to succeeding – to destroy all good relations between our sides. To ruin the international image of Azerbaijan – and that only because you fully allow yourself to be manipulated and to believe all the lies which arrive in your emails.
If you truly care about democracy, transparency and good relations, then please answer my questions. I assure you, we will make sure to distribute them to our public, the same way we will distribute this letter.
First of all, please comment on the fact that, despite claiming knowledge on the situation on Azerbaijan, the Election Group fails even to mention that in November we will be having legislative elections, and not presidential ones. You approach our country with such anger, hatred, and ignorance that you even forgot that parliamentary elections will be held on 1st November 2015, and noted that observation mission shouldn’t be sent to “presidential elections on 1st November 2015” in Azerbaijan. Don’t you declare your final intention and target from now on launching unrests in Azerbaijan as in Ukraine and on violent change of power in Azerbaijan in 2018 by making this “accidental and technical” mistake?!
Not to mention the fact that our government has not yet even sent your House an official and formal letter of invitation, as we have done so in all the past electoral years! Please let us know, dear presidents, why is the verdict already taken? Doesn’t it demonstrate your disrespect and crafty hegemony against Azerbaijan? Isn’t it a more strong dictatorship than Soviet dictatorship?
Second, the European Parliament mission coming to Azerbaijan during the 2013 elections found them to be both reasonably free and fair. Why then do you claim the background for such a democratic exercise is absent from our country? Clearly, you are ignoring the very verdict of the team of Members you sent? Are you seriously giving a verdict on personal position? Every positive evidence you could be using – you prefer to ignore it!
Indeed, the 2013 Report of both the EP mission, but also OSCE PA and PACE teams all were favorable. They deemed the elections fair and free and as meeting democratic standards. How can you then make the highly negative statements, without even a basis for your evidence? Why are you already concluding on a matter which is not yet to happen, based on false accusations from events in the past which your own House has described as positive?!?
Should be understand then that there is an anti-Azeri bias in the European Parliament? Shall we resign ourselves that the forces trying so hard to push the EU and Azerbaijan in different directions, are winning? Who, we wonder, can profit from that?
We have tried to continue out cooperation with your House, through Euronest, despite these issues in the past. Despite ignoring our position, our letters and our demands, we will try to find some ways to fight these attacks. Our MPs, after the democratic and fair elections to take place in November, from whatever parties and political groups, we are sure, will still want to cooperate with Euronest. Do you?
Presidents, representatives of the European Union, you have almost lost all your goodwill and influence in Ukraine! You are close to losing Moldova to the anti-European parties. Georgia is distancing itself as well. Nobody listens to you in Belarus. And Armenia has already turned its back on your treaties and values. It seems with Azerbaijan, you are trying hard to push us away? How are we to understand this? As a bias against our culture, our religion? Is the European Parliament now a house of intolerance and hatred?
You claim to value democracy and rights. Yet you ignore our democratic standards. You even ignore the reports of your own MEPs. You dictate in resolutions and debates things that have no basis in reality, and then refuse to come and see the reality for yourselves. It seems you are trying hard to build a wall of ignorance around yourselves. But, let me warn you, such walls often become prisons, when you will be forgotten by all your neighbors!
The Eastern Partnership is tottering on the edge of uselessness. Your actions are not helping. In your letter, you threaten MEPs with Code of Conduct by prohibiting them to observe elections in their personal capacity. If you prohibit MEPs to freely express their opinions, aren’t you ashamed of accusing other countries of violating freedoms of speech and expression?!
I invite you, presidents, to answer my questions and to recant your groundless accusations. I assure you that your answers will be given full transparency to our constituents and our voters. Perhaps you will seek to ignore our delegation, but if you claim to care about democratic values in Azerbaijan, it might be the time that you start thinking about the right of Azeri citizens and politicians alike not to be treated with the scorn some European politicians, MEPs in particular, are showing towards our country!”