YEREVAN (Tert.am)—With a vote of 24 to 16, the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), has approved an anti-Armenian report entitled “Escalation of Violence in Nagorno-Karabakh and Other Occupied Territories of Azerbaijan” by Robert Walter (United Kingdom, EC), a rapporteur of the PACE Political Affairs Committee, Head of the Armenian delegation to PACE Hermine Naghdalyan told Tert.am.
“Our proposal failed to pass, and the report was discussed and put on the agenda of the plenary session. It is on the January agenda,” she said.
The Armenian delegation proposed dismissing the subject and appointing a new rapporteur, who would be more impartial and present an unbiased report reflecting the real state of affairs, rather than one executing Azerbaijan’s orders. The proposal was declined.
The report contained numerous anti-Armenian wordings unacceptable to Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.
The decision to include Robert Walter’s report in PACE’s plenary session agenda is a serious blow to the OSCE Minsk Group, said an Armenian delegate. In July, Asbarez reported that Walter had received Turkish citizenship. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu personally handed Walter his new Turkish ID card at the Turkish Embassy in London. Walter, who is married to a Turkish woman, reportedly expressed delight over his new dual citizenship.
“The PACE sought, yet another time, to undermine the Minsk Group efforts, as the move is not likely to in any way assist in the negotiation process,” Naira Zohrabyan told Tert.am, commenting on the decision by the PACE committee.
“They are yet another time provoking an escalation between the Armenian and Azerbaijani delegations. The Minsk Group will later embark on new efforts, calling upon the sides to work towards confidence-building measures. But such steps never contribute to confidence building; they are like a stab from the back to the Minsk Group-mediated process,” she added.
Zohrabyan, who leads the Prosperous Armenia faction in the National Assembly, says she plans to consider the future of Armenia-PACE relations after returning to Armenia.
“This resolution has no value at all, apart from undermining the negotiation process,” Zohrabyan said.
“As for the final version, it depends on how many sober-minded members will be attending the PACE [plenary session] to understand that the adoption of a resolution with such a wording will simply increase the border tension, which is escalated as it is. The PACE will yet another time turn into a scene of war between the Armenian and Azerbaijani delegations. If that’s what the PACE seeks for, let them keep on working in such a style,” Zohrabyan had previously stated before the adoption of the report.
Armenia should work more actively with the delegates of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), deputy foreign minister Shavarsh Kocharyan said today at a parliamentary discussion of the next year’s draft budget.
“Although we cannot and should not compete with Azerbaijan’s oil dollars, we need to establish closer contacts with the delegates of PACE and make them interested in our problems,” he said.
According to him, Azerbaijan can be compared with the “worm-eaten apple” that has a corrupting influence on the Council of Europe.
“Although the anti-Armenian reports at PACE, sponsored by Azerbaijan, cannot cause harm to Armenia, we should not be satisfied,” Kocharyan said.
Kocharyan also said that Armenia will not open new embassies in 2016 because of lack of funds, “however, Armenia is ready to support the opening of honorary consulates.”
He also noted that Armenia is working to ease visa procedures with the countries that do not pose threats to its national security.