There is no alternative to Azerbaijan's membership in the Council of Europe - civil society

Baku / 06.11.17 / Turan: "Relations between Azerbaijan and the Council of Europe: what awaits us" was the topic of public discussions organized by the NIDA Movement at the Musavat party headquarters on November 5. The topic of the discussions was tensions between Azerbaijan and the Council of Europe, and statements by the official Buck about the possible withdrawal from the organization, NIDA activist Abulfaz Gurbanli said. At the same time, he pointed out that there are also divergences in the ruling camp on this issue. Thus, Deputy Foreign Minister Mahmud Mammadguliyev and MP Zahid Oruj announced the need to remain in the Council of Europe.

The NIDA Movement believes that Azerbaijan should remain in the Council of Europe fulfilling its obligations, Gurbanli said. The head of the Institute of Democratic Initiatives Akif Gurbanli classified Azerbaijan's obligations to the Council of Europe in five groups.

"The first is to solve the Karabakh problem peacefully. Second, to adopt all the CE conventions. The third is to bring local legislation in line with European standards. The fourth - very important - is to respect human rights. Finally, provide local democracy, expand the powers of municipalities, introduce an elective post of mayors, including in the capital, "said Akif Gurbanli.

According to him, many commitments are not being fulfilled, and first of all, not the implementation of the ECHR decision in the case of REAL leader Ilgar Mammadov, who is still in prison.

Akif Gurbanli believes that the authorities in the current situation will seek to gain time. This is connected with the contradictory statements of the authorities on the country's further participation in the Council of Europe, the expert believes. The deputy chairman of the Musavat party, Elman Fattah, believes that there is no contradiction between the demands of the Council of Europe and the interests of Azerbaijan. In his view, the personal interests of the authorities became the cause of tension in the relations between Baku and Strasbourg. The world trend is cooperation, not isolation, transparency.

Fattah drew attention to the fact that conceptual documents of Azerbaijan are based on European integration. Therefore, the allegations about the "intrigues of the Armenian lobby", or "Christian clubs" are unfounded.

Fattah focused on the failure of Azerbaijan's obligations to the Council of Europe in the field of elections and local democracy. Thus, the authorities do not comply with their obligations to participate in the election commissions of independent members. The charter on local self-government, although ratified, is not respected. There is also no choice of mayors of cities. "The reason is simple - when elections come, the power opposes," Fattah said. -06D-

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