The policy of silence was a success, Armenian lawmakers say

Lena Badeyan
Public Radio of Armenia

Armenian lawmakers have returned from Strasbourg, where they participated in the summer session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

The Armenian delegates to PACE were severely criticized for refraining from addressing questions to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and for not leaving the hall during the latter’s speech. However, the lawmakers themselves consider that the “policy of silence was a success” even with regard to the Astana summit, where the Armenian President remained silent after Aliyev’s message was read out.

Head of the Armenian delegation to PACE Hermine Naghdalyan said, however, the Armenian delegation is going to remain silent throughout Azerbaijan’s presidency of PACE. This time all members of the delegation had agreed to keep silent in order not to turn the Council of Europe-Azerbaijan dispute into an Armenian-Azerbaijani dispute.

Another reason was to that “it would be a lifebuoy for Aliyev to divert from the topic and avoid speaking about Azerbaijani problems.” “The whole political aggression and cynicism he had prepared for Armenians, he voiced against the Europeans, thus creating a very negative opinion about his country,” Naghdalyan said.

“There are unwritten rules, which were harshly violated during Azerbaijan’s presidency. These include Baku’s denial of visa to the head of the French delegation Rene Roquet and Aliyev’s cynical behavior at PACE session.” “It’s unacceptable for a country to use the presidency to boost the resolution of its problems,” she added.

As for Azerbaijan’s motion to deprive the Armenian delegation of voting right, Hermine Naghdalyan said the issue has been transferred to the next session. She added, however, that there are no bases, no argumentation to pass the motion.

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