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Nagorno-Garabagh conflict in CE


The history of relations between Azerbaijan and the Council of Europe began in 1992. During this period, the republic newly acquired independence tried to build reliable cooperation relations with the world's leading international organizations and made specific steps in this direction. In 1992, Azerbaijan applied to the Council of Europe with giving him "specially invited guest" status. However, this request was outside the attention of the Council of Europe for a long time.
That is, consequently, clearly revealed itself in the process of settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The first documents adopted by the Council of Europe on this conflict, were biased and unfair no attempts were made to disclose the original substance of the problem my allowing unfair analysis.
In February 1992 the Committee on Relations with European countries non-members of Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe had adopted the first statement on the Armenia-Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Paper expressed concern about the aggravation of situation in Nagorno-Karabakh and the parties are recommended to cease fire, to settle the conflict by peaceful means. The request of deploying of the UN forces in the region of conflict with Armenia was reflected in this statement, too.
The Ministerial Committee of Council of Europe on 12 March also adopted a statement on the conflict. This document does not provide any objective assessment of the problem and its essence was not clarified. The Ministerial Committee of Council of Europe tried to demonstrate possible neutral position.
In April 1993 at the Ministerial Committee of Council of Europe few statements were adopted on the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. According to the statement, the Ministerial Committee of Council of Europe supports the requirements of the United Nations on the establishment of peace in the region and supported the suspension of combat operations. Although the Ministerial Committee of Council of Europe expressed concern over intensifying of military operations in Kelbejar, but the fact of occupation of the region by Armenian aggressors was not shown.
The more evidence about the unfair position of the Council of Europe on Armenia-Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict occurred in January 1994. Thus, the Committee for Relations with non-member States of the Council of Europe acted with initiative at a meeting in Strasbourg in connection with the settlement of the conflict, and the representatives of separatist regime in Nagorno-Karabakh were also invited at negotiations. This failed the meeting and Azerbaijani delegation declared that it would not take part in negotiations with such format.
A bit later, in July 1994 Council of Europe in Strasbourg on the initiative of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict the negotiation over Nagorno-Karabakh was held. Azerbaijan taking into account the need for the development of relations with the Council of Europe took part in these negotiations. One of the results of the meeting was that was it decided to send a delegation to the region under the leadership of the chairman of Committee of Relations of PACE with 
with non-member states of the Europe Mr. David Atkinson.  The delegation came to visit Azerbaijan on November 14. A few days ago, on 10 November the Parliamentary Assembly Council of Europe adopted the first resolution on Armenia-Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. In resolution so-called as "On the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh" this problem was not fairly assessed and its essence was distorted.
June 28, 1996 Azerbaijan got the "special invited guest" status in the Council of Europe. In this case, it was characterized as the beginning of the next stage in the development of relations with the Council of Europe. "Special invited guest" status gave a strong hope that Azerbaijan soon will become as a full member to the Council of Europe.
In April 1997 the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe  had adopted one more decision on Armenia-Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The resolution "On the conflicts in the Trans- Caucasus, pointed out the importance of aid by the Council of Europe in settlement of conflicts in Abkhazia and Nagorno-Karabakh. In document which stated that adoption of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia as members to the Council of Europe will help in conflict settlement in the region and that all conflicts are to be settled by observing the principles of inviolability of borders, the provision of security for the peoples of the region supported by the multinational peacekeeping forces, granting of the status of autonomy for Abkhazia and Nagorno-Karabakh, returning of refugees and displaced persons to homes.
June 28, 2000, PACE adopted a resolution on the adoption of Azerbaijan as full member of the organization. 
January 17, 2001 the Ministerial Committee of the Council of Europe made a similar step on the entry into force of this decision. In January 25 of that year the ceremony of adoption of Azerbaijan as member to the Council of Europe was held, and thus a new stage in the history of our country's relations with Europe started. At the result of initiative and diplomatic efforts made by Ilham Aliyev,   the head of the delegation of Azerbaijan in PACE since the first session the documents which reflects the realities of on the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict began to be disseminated
 In January 2001, at the session when Azerbaijan and Armenia had been accepted as full members to the Council of Europe England's MP George Taylor spoke about the atrocities committed by Armenians in the Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh. He informed about gross violation of human rights here, the aggressive policy of Armenia against Azerbaijan. G.Taylor drew attention at difficult situation of refugees and internally displaced persons, and expressed necessity of taking serious steps in this area by the Council of Europe.
After that, the Azerbaijani delegation was able to do important works in the direction of exposure of the aggressive policy of Armenians to the international community. Thanks to the activity of the Azerbaijan delegation at the official bulletin of 108th meeting of the Ministerial Committee of the Council of Europe 108 the aggressive policy of Armenia was condemned.
On April 24, 2001, at the PACE session in Strasbourg, at discussions on theme "Europe's struggle against economic and transnational organized crime" the delegation of Azerbaijan also took an active part.  
During the session, the delegation prepared draft of special document in connection with the fact on presence of Azerbaijani hostages and prisoners of war in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, and it distributed among MPs. The document noted that as a result of the occupation of our lands 4959 were missed, from 1092 were released during 1992- 2001 and from them 176 of these people was  sick. It was noted in the document that 783 people are being held captive in Armenia and occupied Azerbaijani territories and from them 18 are children, 43 women, 56 elderly people.
Summer session of 2001 was remembered with the hard and efficient work of the Azerbaijani delegation. The delegation had disseminated appeal "Armenia must recognize the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan" in Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on June 26, prepared by the delegation of National Assembly of Azerbaijan and addressed to the Ministerial Committee on behalf of MP Gultekin Hajiyeva as the official document
Two more important document prepared by the delegation of Azerbaijan on June 27 as the official documents were distributed among PACE deputies. The document on destruction of Azerbaijani cultural monuments by Armenians and alienation signed by 18 deputies. The document was noted that besides the tragic consequences of the Armenian aggression against the Republic of Azerbaijan, occupation of 20 percent of Azerbaijani lands the Armenians destroyed in the occupied regions of the country's national and cultural heritage.
 Russell Johnston, Chairman of the PACE came to Baku in September 2001. During the visit, a having a number of important meetings R. Johnston expressed his attitude on the illegal "elections"  held by separatist regime in Nagorno-Karabakh. However, he declared that the Council of Europe does not recognize the elections and declared that Karabakh is part of Azerbaijan. Chairman of the PACE, several times confirmed the fact of the Armenian occupation of Azerbaijani territory in his speeches.
In April 2002, at the PACE summer session the Azerbaijani delegation participated actively and could achieve dissemination of a number of important documents on the issues. One of these documents was called “On nuclear technologies and nuclear waste in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan Republic" Disposal of nuclear wastes in the occupied territories by Armenia and storage here nuclear technologies was reflected on the facts in this document. The document, signed by 80 deputies and 30 states were included in the official documents of the PACE.
In June 2002, the Azerbaijani delegation in PACE summer session achieved the progress in a number of issues, successful steps towards informing of members of the organization on the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. 
In September 2002, at the autumn session of the Council of Europe, the situation on fulfillment of commitments by Azerbaijan and Armenia were discussed. With the insistence of Azerbaijan corrections were made to resolution on the Armenian related to real reasons of the Armenia-Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, occupation of Azerbaijani lands, the refugees and internally displaced persons displaced from their lands. These issues also were reflected in the resolution of related to Azerbaijan.
On January 27, 2003, the head of the delegation of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev was elected to the position of the PACE vice-chairman and a member of the bureau.
President Ilham Aliyev having started activity in PACE began with delivery of consequences of aggressive policy of Armenia to the international community. At that session in the bureau of the PACE the Armenian-Azerbaijani, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was discussed. During the discussions, the aggressive policy of Armenia against Azerbaijan was condemned and declared that it is in contrary to all norms of international law. 
In summer session of 2003, the Azerbaijani delegation was able to demonstrate significant activity.
Problems faced by our country during this session, which is directly connected with the issue - " the positive experience of the autonomous provinces of the Europe” were discussed.     
Within a short period of time, Azerbaijani representatives could manage to declare facts on the Armenia-Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to the world community from the center of Europe. Acts of genocide committed by Armenians against Azerbaijanis, destruction of cultural monuments in the occupied territories, prison conditions of military captives and hostages, the environmental conditions in lands occupied by Armenians, problems of refugee and internally displaced children in education, and social situation of internally displaced persons as well as dozens of these painful facts allowed to have objective image of nature of events in all Europe and the world. 
At present, the Azerbaijani delegation to PACE still continue to function, and continues to struggle in the way of delivery of truth to the world on Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh .

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