EU: Doors Open for Azerbaijan

Baku / 23.11.18 / Turan: The European Union Representation in Baku commented on the reports about not inviting the governmental delegation of Azerbaijan to the 10th Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum Annual Assembly in Tbilisi on December 10-12 and not including an item on support for Azerbaijan"s territorial integrity.

Responding to the request from the Turan news agency on this issue, the EU mission noted that representatives of civil society organizations from all six Eastern Partnership states will gather at the Tbilisi meeting.

Such meetings have been held annually since 2009. Government representatives from all Eastern Partners, including from Azerbaijan, have been invited to attend the Assembly.

So far no resolution has been adopted or agreed. The organizers are working on this issue. The EU structure is not involved in any way in the process of preparing the document or was not approached regarding the agreement on the resolution text.

The official position of the EU was expressed in the declarations of the Eastern Partnership Summits and the most recent of them was adopted in Brussels on November 24, 2017, the comment of the EU Delegation noted.

Note that the declaration stated that the European Union is committed to supporting the territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty of all its partners.

In turn, the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, in connection with the publications of the Azerbaijani media, stated that preparations for the annual Assembly and the definition of the guest list are ongoing.

The Steering Committee declares that it will welcome the high-level participants not only from civil society, but also from the governments of the Eastern Partnership countries.

At the meeting, it is planned to adopt a resolution on the 100th anniversary of the independence of many of the Eastern Partnership countries, and the document is still in draft form, and delegates will still be amended.

The Steering Committee recalls that the Forum is an independent network of non-governmental organizations working with the support of the European Union. The Forum Steering Committee assumes full responsibility for its statements, and they cannot be identified with the views of the European Union.

The nervous reaction of official Baku and pro-government media to the information about not inviting representatives of the Azerbaijani government to the Forum in Tbilisi was not entirely clear.

Earlier, representatives of official Baku in every way avoided participation in such meetings and did not welcome the activities of European donors to support civil society institutions in Azerbaijan, and ignored calls from the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum not to interfere with the work of local NGOs and remove obstacles to their activities. -06D-

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