Azerbaijani delegation head voices pessimism about future of PACE

Mon 09 October 2017 12:37 GMT | 16:37 Local Time

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Head of the Azerbaijani delegation to PACE Samad Seyidov has voiced pessimistic opinions about the future of the Assembly.

Addressing a discussion of the report on PACE’s activities, which was held on the first day of the Assembly’s autumn session, the Azerbaijani parliamentarian said he is not optimistic about the organization’s future, an APA correspondent reported from Strasbourg.  
 
“Unfortunately, I can not share the optimistic opinions voiced by my colleagues here about the future activities of the PACE. The Assembly is currently experiencing a very difficult period,” Seyidov said. “The title of the report is related to progress in the organization's activities, as Umberto Eco, this is a reverse progress. Instead of going forward, we are stepping back.”
 
The problem that leads to the Assembly to ‘a dead end’ is the lack of leadership and target in the organization, stressed the Azerbaijani MP. “Unfortunately, instead of protecting the basic principles of democracy, human rights and the rule of law, here we are witnessing the struggle for chairmanship and personal disputes. All this is a serious blow to the reputation of the Assembly,” he added.   
 
Seyidov also touched upon the election of a new PACE president.
 
“Today we’re electing a new president. I don’t know who will be elected, but I hope that the new president will demonstrate the necessary perseverance, and he will be able to overcome this crisis. When we see that some parliamentarians, as well as the Secretary General of the Council of Europe issue very aggressive statements against a number of member states, then we ask ourselves what are we doing here and why did we stayed in this organization?” he said.  
 
The parliamentarian also hailed Azerbaijan’s contributions to the development of European values.
 
“As a Muslim country, we’ve contributed to the development of European values, but for some reasons we are still under pressure. We don’t intend to accept unfounded pressure from some European politicians who considers themselves ‘to be more Catholic than the pope’. We want all member countries to be treated with the same adequacy. But we see that there are separatism sentiments even within the PACE, and this makes us think about one question, “Why are we in this organization?” I’ve not yet found the answer to this question,” he added.

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