YEREVAN (Panorama)—David Babayan, spokesperson for the president of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, has gone on the record calling the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) a stall in a “Baku market” where one can “buy” documents, referring to a recent report accepted by a PACE committee which both Armenia and Artsakh consider to be anti-Armenian.
“The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has gradually turned into a pavilion in a Baku market where one can conduct trade and buy documents, which is a blow to European values. This is what causes our resentment because Artsakh views democracy is a key principle,” Babayan said at a discussion held today at Yerevan’s Media Center.
The report in question, “Escalation of violence in Nagorno Karabakh and the other occupied territories of Azerbaijan,” was authored by Robert Walter (United Kingdom, EC), a rapporteur of the PACE Political Affairs Committee and conservative member of British parliament.
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.
According to Babayan, the report is “obviously” an Azerbaijani one, and Walter simply put his signature on it.
“The report smells of Azerbaijani caviar and oil. Naturally we could not participate in any discussion of such documents. Such behavior of Azerbaijan was foreseeable, but we find it unfortunate that corruption processes permeate into PACE,” Babayan said.
In his words, official Stepanakert declared repeatedly that it is ready for cooperation in preparing any report, but that the process should be reasonable and objective.
“The report was initially prepared either in the foreign ministry or the Azerbaijani presidential office. Naturally we could not consent to any interaction within the framework of that document. We repeatedly sent messages telling them to reconsider the report’s philosophy and change the contents, and in that case we would provide assistance. Yet nothing changed,” Babayan said.
Babayan added that Walter’s wife, who is of Turkish descent, has her own business interests in Azerbaijan, while Walter himself wants a “comfortable” life after retirement.
As was reported, on October 1, 2014 the PACE Political Affairs and Democracy Committee instructed Walter, who is known for his pro-Azerbaijani stance, to prepare a report on Artsakh. The report’s very name, “Escalation of violence in Nagorno Karabakh and the other occupied territories of Azerbaijan,” attracted harsh criticism. In an earlier interview with Panorama.am, David Babayan voiced once again the position of Artsakh authorities on the report. “The report has to be impartial and objective, and not represent a study done by order. Any documents smelling of caviar and oil are unacceptable to us,” he stressed.