Azerbaijan refuses to attend Euronest PA session in Armenia





Azerbaijan does not participate in the 4th Ordinary Session of Euronest Parliamentary Assembly in Yerevan.

“Azerbaijan’s refusal to participate in the session shows the country’s attitude towards Euronest, not Armenia,” Artak Zakaryan, Head of Armenia’s delegation to Euronest PA, told Public Radio of Armenia after the session of the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly and Civil Society in Yerevan.

“Azerbaijan has sent several explanatory letters to the Euronest leadership to justify it decision not to attend the session. Among the reason they have mentioned the European Parliament’s criticism of the pressure against civil society in the country, the Karabakh conflict, etc. I’m confident that representatives of Azerbaijani civil society have simply been banned from visiting Armenia. This reflects Azerbaijan’s attitude towards Euronest, not Armenia, and the European Parliament has to make conclusions,” Artak Zakaryan.

Before the plenary session scheduled for March 17, representatives of civil society from across the Eastern Partnership (EaP) region, Members of the European Parliament and parliamentarians from partner countries came together today to take stock of the achievements and challenges of the EaP policy.

The event examined the new strategic context in the region, individual countries’ aspirations, the successes and failures of the EaP to promote reform and democratization, and the contribution that civil society, the European Parliament and national parliaments can make to drive and monitor the reform process.

In the run up to the Riga Eastern Partnership Summit and the ongoing comprehensive review of the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP), the event also aimed to propose ideas for the reconsideration of the EU’s regional policy, its underpinnings and tools.

The issue of Azerbaijan’s absence was discussed at the forum, as well. The participants stressed that the civil society representatives should not miss the opportunity of joint discussions, irrespective of the problems existing between the two countries.

“The issue was discussed at the Euronest Bureau. A letter urging Azerbaijan to review its decision was sent to Baku, but they chose not to participate,” said Krzysztof Bobinski, Co-Chair of the EaP Civil Society Forum Steering Committee.

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