STRASBOURG, France—The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) held a heated debate on Tuesday on two reports on Nagorno-Karabakh: “Escalation of violence in Nagorno-Karabakh and the other occupied territories of Azerbaijan,” by rapporteur Robert Walter (UK) and “Inhabitants of frontier regions of Azerbaijan are deliberately deprived of water,” by rapporteur Milica Marković (Bosnia and Herzegovina). The Parliamentary Assembly rejected the report by Walter and adopted the report by Markovic.
Since November 2015, the European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy (EAFJD) had carried out extensive work in 20 Member States of the Council of Europe, elaborating on the essence of the reports and exposing their biased character. The European Armenian Federation was also in Strasbourg and closely followed the vote.
Both draft resolutions evidently lacked thorough, impartial research, selectively left out crucial facts and in general cause harm to the negotiation process of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The OSCE Minsk Group had previously issued statements, the latest one being a joined press release, urging PACE not to undermine the negotiation process.
The rejected draft report by Robert Walter was evidently a word-for-word reflection of the official Azerbaijani and Turkish stance on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. In her report, Milica Markovic, who never visited the reservoir, used this humanitarian issue as a pretext in order to make highly biased statements on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in general. A brief comparison of the draft resolution and of the technical report, which should be the basis of the draft resolution, makes it clear that Ms. Marković deliberately exaggerated the consequences of potential danger. On the other hand, she left important facts, stated in the technical report, out of the draft resolution, since this information did not fit in with her biased intentions.
EAFJD President Kaspar Karampetian said: “Today the Council of Europe rejected the highly biased and inflammatory report by Robert Walter. Thus, the results of today’s vote can be generally considered positive. The current Azerbaijani Government and Mr. Walter did not succeed in their efforts of using the Council of Europe as an instrument for anti-Armenian war-rhetoric. It was encouraging to see the level of support and mobilization.”
“Unfortunately, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted the rather partial report by Milica Marković on the Sarsang reservoir. It is clear that since the beginning Ms. Marković intended to use this humanitarian issue in order to draft a report reflecting the Azerbaijani perspective on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” stressed Karampetian.
“Now the task of the Armenian diplomacy should be raising awareness on the environmental and human rights problems of the Armenian citizens in bordering areas, facing similar problems, caused by Azerbaijan” concluded the President of EAFJD.
Meanwhile, Armenpress reported that Armenian member of Turkish Parliament, Markar Esayan from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), who is known for supporting the Turkish governmental positions, voted in favor of Robert Walter’s anti-Armenian report.