Azerbaijani pro-government and opposition parties have expressed categorical and unequivocal protest against the European Parliament's resolution on the so-called issue of Ramil Safarov. They consider that the issues reflected in this document are not objective. They testify to double standards, a joint statement of Azerbaijani parties to the European Parliament said today.
'As the political parties operating in Azerbaijan, we clearly express our commitment to European values, the development of bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and the European organisations', the statement said. 'After Azerbaijan gained independence, integration into the Euro-Atlantic area occupied an important place in the foreign policy of the country. Today Azerbaijan has been adequately represented in the UN, OSCE, Council of Europe and a number of other influential organisations. It joined the conventions and other legal documents adopted by these organisations'.
According to the document, while taking an active part in the European Neighbourhood Policy and the Eastern Partnership, Azerbaijan commits itself to a collective agreement between the European Union and the countries of the South Caucasus.
'The European Parliament adopted resolutions and made different decisions on Azerbaijan and the South Caucasus many times', the document said. 'The objective thoughts on the main problem faced by Azerbaijan - Armenia's aggression and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict were reflected in the documents.
'However, in some cases, deputies' groups represented in the European Parliament adopted the documents for the sake of particular interests and under the influence of the Armenian lobby. These documents do not reflect reality. These documents are uniquely perceived by public opinion and the political forces in Azerbaijan'.
'The resolution adopted by the European Parliament in connection with Azerbaijani army officer Ramil Safarov's extradition to Azerbaijan and his pardon by the President, is biased and serves the interests of Armenia and the Armenian lobby', the Azerbaijani political parties said. 'International conventions and other legal documents regulate the extradition of prisoners and pardon. The European countries joined these conventions and they are accepted by all at the international level'.
It was stressed that the extradition and pardon of Azerbaijani army officer Ramil Safarov has been implemented on the basis of Article 12 of the 'Convention on the movement of prisoners', the Constitution of the Azerbaijani Republic as well as international legal norms and principles.
'Unfortunately, some sections of the European bodies distributed the statements and documents that are far from objectivity', the statement said. 'It should be recalled that Ramil Safarov was born in the Azerbaijani Jabrail region occupied by Armenian armed forces. Most of his friends and relatives were killed during the military aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan.
'His family members became refugees. While taking part in the NATO English courses in Budapest in 2004, he was subjected to abuse by Armenian officer Gurgen Markarian, who also attended these courses. In response to this, being in the temporary insanity, he took extreme measures against him'.
It was stressed that during the trial over Ramil Safarov in Budapest, a very tough verdict was given toward the Azerbaijani officer as a result of pressure from Armenia and the Armenian lobby. This verdict does not meet the principles of humanity. Such severity is not observed in European countries' courts. As a final example, one can cite the trial over Breivik in Norway and his sentence, but Safarov spent nine years in prison in accordance with his verdict.
'Sensation raised over Ramil Safarov's issue by the Armenian lobby organisations and communities, patronising Armenia is an attempt to hide the war crimes committed by the Armenian aggressors as a result of the occupation of 20 per cent of Azerbaijani territory, turning one million people into refugees and the fact of the occupation and unconstructive position taken in the peace stalled talks.
'The fact that none of the European organisations condemned the country which allowed the murderers to arrive in Armenia and provided them with citizenship and repeatedly made bloody terror attacks in various world countries in modern history (members of the terrorist organisations such as ASALA: Monte Melkonian, Vazgen Sislyan, Varujan Karapetyan and others), causes rage and resentment of the Azerbaijani public', the statement said.
It was stressed that after the extradition of these terrorists to Armenia, they have committed a number of serious war crimes against the civilian population in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, including the Khojaly genocide within the armed forces of this country.
"We think that it would be better if such influential international organisations such as the European Parliament take consistent steps towards a peaceful settlement of the conflict between the two countries, rather than making decisions indulging Armenian aggression," the parties said.
"As the parties, signing the appeal, regardless of political orientation and stressing the concern of the Azerbaijani society in this issue, once again we express our a categorical and unequivocal protest against the resolution of the European Parliament. We think that the issues reflected in this document are biased and testify to double standards."