BAKU: European Commissioner And MEPs Call For More Active EU Role In


Sept 18 2012

Baku -APA. Numerous Members of the European Parliament (MEPs)
commented during the debate and adoption of a Joint Resolution on the
Ramil Safarov case in the European Parliament’s (EP) Plenary session
on 13 September. The debate focused on the case of Ramil Safarov, a
member of the Azerbaijani armed forces, who was recently transferred
from Hungary to Azerbaijan after serving a prison sentence for the
murder of an Armenian officer. There was concern amongst some MEPs
that political actors and Armenia were using the debate to divert
attention from the realities of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the
ongoing humanitarian plight of 875,000 internally displaced persons
(IDPs) and refugees.

Several MEPs underlined that the extradition of Mr Safarov was carried
out in accordance with international and Azerbaijani law, and that his
transfer was in line with the Strasbourg Convention on the Transfer of
Sentenced Persons of 1983. Kriistina Ojuland (ALDE, Estonia) added:
“The ALDE Group in the EP decided not to sign the resolution on the
case of Ramil Safarov, since the Azerbaijani authorities have not
violated international law. Unfortunately, this event has aggravated
the relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan and hindered progress
towards resolution of the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh.” Ms Ojuland
added: “The absence of any results after 20 years of work indicates
that the OSCE Minsk Group needs a reshuffle. In order to find a
balance in the whole negotiation process, the French Co-Chair should
be replaced by the EU, which has an historic chance to resolve this
‘frozen’ conflict.”

Hungarian and Socialist MEP Edith Herczog underlined that:
“The extradition of Ramil Safarov is a legal act between two
sovereign governments, […based on] mutual responsibility and
confidence.” Norica Nicolai, Liberal MEP from Romania stressed that:
“The proposed ‘urgency resolution’ cannot be considered under rule
122 of the EP since it is not a rule of law matter…it is not a
Human Rights issue.”

She added that there had been a partisan approach in the EP’s debate
regarding the case “that runs the risk of making the region even
more unstable, whereas the EU ought to be playing a stronger role,
that’s why the Liberal Group has withdrawn from this resolution.”

The debate also highlighted the ongoing volatility and tensions in
the South Caucasus and the differences in opinion on this matter
amongst many MEPs.

In this regard, Austrian MEP Ulrike Lunacek (Greens/ALE) pointed out
that she “acknowledges the frustration in Azerbaijan about the lack
of substantial progress in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process.”

Czech MEP Jiri Mastalka (Confederal Group of the United Left/Nordic
left) urged the EP and the EU to “get more involved in the
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.”

Finally, according to European Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou:
“The handling of this case has the potential to further complicate
the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict as well as
potentially the Eastern partnership agenda….the EU does not see
and would absolutely reject any alternative to peaceful conflict
settlement. The Safarov case should not be used by anyone to deviate
from this.”

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

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Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS