Azeri MPs rebuke BBC for “pro-Armenian” stance
Turan news agency
25 May 04
Baku, 25 May: A number of MPs attending today’s session of the
Milli Maclis [parliament] condemned the statement by US ambassador
to Azerbaijan Reno Harnish in which he said that Washington could
not apply sanctions against US companies working in Nagornyy
Karabakh. Speaking about this were MPs Zahid Oruc, Qulamhuseyn
Alibayli, Qudrat Hasanquliyev and others.
MP Alibayli said Azerbaijan was not included in the Millennium
Challenge programme because of the low level of democracy in the
country. Azerbaijan has been deprived of US aid through the fault of
its high-ranking officials, he said.
The deputy executive secretary of the ruling New Azerbaijan Party,
Mubariz Qurbanli, called on Azerbaijani radio stations not to provide
air for the BBC’s Central Asia and Caucasus Service. He explained
his call by the “pro-Armenian” position of the BBC.
MP Musa Quliyev expressed his concern about the “activity” of the
People’s Front Party and suggested that its leader, Ali Karimli,
be deprived of his deputy’s mandate for boycotting parliament sessions.
MP Cavansir Huseynov voiced his indignation at the fact that 34
Armenian officers were working at the Russian radar station in Qabala
[northern Azerbaijan]. He said the Milli Maclis should consider
repealing the lease agreement with Russia for the use of the radar
Summing up all the suggestions, Speaker Murtuz Alasgarov said the
Russian side would be informed of the discussion.
With regard to the BBC, the speaker instructed the parliament’s
standing commission on science, education and culture to prepare a
letter of protest and send it to the BBC management. He urged local
TV channels and the press to express their opinion on the issue.
As for the activity of American companies in Nagornyy Karabakh,
Alasgarov suggested that the Foreign Ministry issue a statement
saying that it is unacceptable for Washington to cooperate with
As far as the US assistance to Azerbaijan is concerned, the speaker
said that its suspension was explained by the fact that Azerbaijan
is rapidly developing.
With regard to depriving MP Ali Karimli of his deputy’s mandate,
the speaker instructed the head of the secretariat, Safa Mirzayev,
to look into the issue. If Karimli has indeed missed more than 30
sessions, the issue will be handed over to the disciplinary commission.
Then the MPs started discussing the draft law “On carpet weaving”.