Azerbaijani Parliament Speaker

Azerbaijani Parliament Speaker meets with Inter-Parliamentary Union Secretary General

International News Desk

According to global Times news Agency Europe, Azerbaijani Parliament Speaker meets with Inter-Parliamentary Union Secretary General The Speaker of the Milli Majlis (Parliament), Sahiba Gafarova, had a meeting on January 31 with the Secretary General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Martin Chungong, who is visiting in Azerbaijan, The Global Times Europe informs, citing the Press and Public Relations Department of the Milli Majlis. Saying that this was the second visit of the Secretary General to Azerbaijan, Speaker Sahiba Gafarova recalled several meetings she had had with him and with the IPU President at the international fora. She added that the active dialogue between the parties spelled out their intention to promote the relationship.

It was remarked in the course of the conversation that Azerbaijan attaches great importance to the co-operation with the IPU, as evidenced by the fact that five Azerbaijani MPs had been elected to the bureaux of a number of committees and to the boards of fora of this organisation in a short period of time. Mrs. Gafarova described the Inter-Parliamentary Union is a real platform for dialogue where the opinions of all the countries are reflected, and stressed regretfully the absence of such an objective attitude and positive atmosphere of collaboration in some international organisations. In this regard, she criticised the activities of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe—the activities that are based on double standards.Secretary General Martin Chungong of the Inter-Parliamentary Union witnessed satisfaction with having revisited Azerbaijan and lauded the co-operation between the IPU and Azerbaijan.

His goal as Secretary General is to hear the voice of each state in the Organisation. Mr. Chungong pointed out his reluctance to see the IPU become a club advocating the interests of individual countries or groups. Besides, he proclaimed the preparedness to provide every support for the delegation of Azerbaijan in the IPU and to MPs working in the Organisation’s bureaux and committees.The intention to deepen the co-operation between the Parliamentary Network of the Non-Aligned Movement and the Inter-Parliamentary Union was made clear then. The Speaker of the Milli Majlis recalled that several initiatives including the establishment of the NAM Parliamentary Network and Youth Organisation to bolster its institutional potential’s growth had been put forth upon the initiative of President Ilham Aliyev during the Azerbaijani chairmanship of the Movement.

The emergence of the NAM Parliamentary Network is a demonstration of Azerbaijan’s firm support and commitment to inter-parliamentary co-operation. Secretary General Martin Chungong remarked that the Non-Aligned Movement used not to be active, but its work and position in the system of international relations had been boosted thanks to the chairmanship by Azerbaijan. Praising the realisation of the NAM Parliamentary Network idea, Mr. Chungong also underscored the important role of the Movement in the world and emphasised the readiness of the IPU to extend any kind of support to the work of the Parliamentary Network.Climatic change co-operation opportunities were discussed then. Martin Chungong congratulated the Azerbaijani side with the forthcoming hosting of the COP29 in 2024 and said he was certain that Azerbaijan would succeed as the event’s host.

Further, Sahiba Gafarova talked about Armenia having held approximately 20 percent of the territory of Azerbaijan occupied for nigh on 30 years, with the resolutions and decisions of international organisations demanding immediate, complete, and unconditional withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from the captured Azerbaijani territories having been ignored throughout that time. It was also said that Azerbaijan had de-occupied those lands independently in 2020. Also, Martin Chungong was informed of the current situation in the region. Mrs. Gafarova brought up the anti-terrorist measures implemented by Azerbaijan in response to Armenia’s military-political provocations in 2023.She stressed that those measures had only targeted illegal military groups and military infrastructure.

The civilian population and facilities were never attacked.The three missions of the UN that visited the region confirmed the absence of whatever damage to the civilian population as well as the civilian and social infrastructure, according to Sahiba Gafarova. As the Speaker then pointed out, the occupation had turned approximately a million Azerbaijanis into refugees and IDPs. She deplored the fact that certain international organisations and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe would not address the rights of the Azerbaijanis, who were the IDP and refugees from Armenia in the period of occupation.

Armenia continued its military-political provocations after Garabagh War II as well, including by mining the Azerbaijani territories where more than 1 million mines have been planted. The mine explosions that have taken place since the end of the war have killed or badly wounded more than 340 Azerbaijanis. And Azerbaijan still waits for Armenia to present accurate minefield maps. The recently-observed rhetoric of Armenia builds on Azerbaijan’s alleged reluctance to sign a peace treaty, Sahiba Gafarova continued.

It is astonishing to hear such claims from the state that had held Azerbaijani lands occupied for 30 years. The Speaker repeated that it had been Azerbaijan that had come forward with the idea of signing a peace treaty – and immediately after the 44 days’ Patriotic War, too. Meanwhile, Armenia is delaying the peace treaty signing process as it has done to date.

Armenia is not an independent state; certain European countries do not want peace in the South Caucasus, amongst them France that is keen to extend the neo-colonialism policy to the region, Sahiba Gafarova continued. Speaker Gafarova reiterated Azerbaijan’s respect for territorial integrity of all the states and Azerbaijan’s desire to ensure lasting peace and stability in the region as well as to sign the peace treaty with Armenia soon. The meeting continued; there was an exchange of opinions about other topics of shared interest.

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