AZERBAIJAN’S ALIYEV CALLS ARMENIANS FASCISTS AT EURONEST MEETING
News | 04.04.12 | 11:37
Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev on Wednesday called Armenians
“occupiers” and “fascists” during a speech at the Euronest Plenary
Session, angering the Armenian parliamentary delegation and shocking
European officials gathered at the meeting.
Head of the Armenian delegation and chairman of the Armenian
Revolutionary Federation parliamentary faction Vahan Hovhannisyan
told Yerkir Media that during a meeting with Aliyev Tuesday the
president of Azerbaijan was very welcoming and did not even mention
the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
But, in what amounted to an attack on a visiting delegation, on
Wednesday Aliyev asserted that Armenia is occupying its territory
and called the policies of its neighbor fascist.
“During the plenary session, Aliyev made shocking aggressive statements
calling us fascists, occupiers who have desecrated their graves. In
short, it was quite an awful speech,” said Hovhannisyan, as quoted by
the paper. “We are preparing documents now and we’ll distribute them
here. We are also going to address the issue in our presentations.”
“Even our European colleagues were shocked. Everyone expected that
at least the Armenian delegation would be thanked for participation,”
Hovhannisyan explained that Armenia’s participation in the second
assembly of Euronest, the body responsible for implementing the
European Union’s Eastern Partnership program (Eop), was welcomed by
a cross section of representatives at the conference in Baku.
However, Wednesday’s speech by Aliyev saw many surprised and scrambling
for words. Hovhannisyan said that the European Union’s Enlargement
Commissioner Stefan Fule attempted to alleviate Aliyev’s attempt
to blame the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on Armenia through, what has
become common Azeri anti-Armenian rhetoric and propaganda.
Hovhannisyan explained that the Armenian delegation would provide
a rapid response to this overt gesture of discrimination by the
president of Azerbaijan.
During the session of Euronest’s Political Affairs Committee on Tuesday
a heated discussion took place between Azeri Foreign Minister Elmar
Mammadyarov and Prosperous Party of Armenian parliament member Naira
Zohrabyan who corrected the Azeri minister when he spoke of so-called
“occupied territories” of Azerbaijan by Armenia.
In her remarks, Zohrabyan accused Mammadyarov of intentionally
falsifying historical events and distorting the facts.
The Euronest Parliamentary Assembly Baku is attended by a 60-member
EU delegation, and the delegations of Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova and
Armenia, consisting of ten people each.