AZERI ENVOY DISPELS ANXIETY OVER FAILURE TO BACK TURKISH CYPRIOTS
ANS TV, Baku
2 May 04
(Presenter) The Azerbaijani ambassador to Turkey, Mammad Aliyev, has
come to a conclusion that Turkey’s anxiety about Azerbaijani
parliamentarians’ non-participation in the Cyprus vote has been
dispelled. Baku’s position has been explained to the Turkish media,
Aliyev said. The Azerbaijani delegation’s failure to participate in
the voting on Cyprus in the Council of Europe was simply the result of
(Correspondent) Azerbaijani MPs did not participate in the discussions
of the draft resolution “On Turkish Cypriot MPs’ participation in the
Council of Europe on behalf of their own state” on 29 April due to
shortcomings in organization and carelessness. This is the conclusion
the Turkish media drew following Azerbaijani ambassador Mammad
(Mammad Aliyev, voice) We explained that deliberate non-participation
was absolutely out of the question. This was due to shortcomings in
organization and carelessness.
(Correspondent) Mammad Aliyev said that one should not allow
Turkish-Azerbaijani relations to worsen due to this misunderstanding.
(Aliyev) There are circles serving the Armenian lobby. Regrettably,
there are circles, particularly in Istanbul, which spend big money to
worsen relations between Turkey and Azerbaijan. They want to present
this as a deliberate act, i.e. allegedly the Azerbaijani MPs did not
participate in the voting deliberately. We have exposed them.
(Correspondent) Aliyev said that only 70 of the 450 members of the
PACE joined the voting, adding that the results would not have changed
if the Azerbaijani parliamentarians had joined the voting. At the same
time, Azerbaijan has always supported Turkey on the Cyprus issue.
(Aliyev) I reiterated our president’s words that our support for
Cyprus would continue. If there are favourable international
conditions to end the isolation and lift the embargo, Azerbaijan would
be one of the first (countries to recognize independence of the
Turkish Cypriots), our esteemed president said. I reiterated this in
(Correspondent) The Azerbaijani delegation’s failure to participate in
the PACE discussions on the aforesaid issue was covered thoroughly by
the Turkish media. In particular, Hurriyet carried a front page
article, quoting President Ilham Aliyev “We would have dismissed them
if they were government officials”.