Alexander Gessel: We appreciate the work done by Azerbaijan to solve the problems of the refugees and IDPs 16.3.2017
Alexander Gessel: We appreciate the work done by Azerbaijan to solve the problems of the refugees and IDPs
The work done by Azerbaijan to improve social status of refugees and IDPs and to solve their housing problems is worthy of appreciation. This is nowhere near the common occurrence. Other states can also benefit from the experience of Azerbaijan.
These opinions were expressed at the meeting of the Deputy Prime Minister of Azerbaijan Republic, the Chairman of State Committee on Deals of Refugees and IDPs Ali Hasanov with delegation of Rapporteur Group on Democracy of Committee of Representatives of the Council of Europe on March 15. Mentioning that the Council of Europe has taken a resolution recognizing the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, Deputy Prime Minister Ali Hasanov said that we highly appreciate this step. These works should be continued and strengthened. Double standards should be avoided within the relationships. However, we also witness biased speeches in PACE members. It would be better without such approaches. If you compare Azerbaijan’s development path during independence years with the states having the history of 100 years of independence, you will see how much success our country has gained in a short period. These issues should be approached comparatively. Mentioning that 20 percent of our lands have been occupied, more than one million people have become refugees and IDPs as a result of military aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan Ali Hasanov said that the issues on the conflict have been remaining unsolved. The Chairman of the State Committee said: “If we compare the last 30 years with the current situation, we will see that the number of refugees and IDPs over the world has doubled up and became more than 60 million. At the same time the number of conflict zones has doubled up. Our situation is different from other conflict zones. Because, 20 percent of our lands has been occupied by the neighbour county. Both states are the members of the Council of Europe, as well as other international organizations. This is unacceptable. We don’t want war. We want to coexist with Armenians as before which we have lived for 200 years by trusting each-other”. Mentioning that decisions, resolutions made by international organizations on Nagorno Karabakh conflict remained on paper, Ali Hasanov said that radicals come into power in many countries, the systems and attitudes change. In spite of this, we don’t intend to wait anymore. International law supports our just cause. Deputy Prime Minister added: “Armenia makes every effort to maintain the status quo in Nagorno Karabakh conflict. Azerbaijan will not allow it. The sooner Armenia realizes that it more suffers from the conflict, the more it will benefit. If every head of state thought the interest of its people and had a high level of intellect, its people wouldn’t suffer like that. The President of Azerbaijan Republic stated many times that he is ready to grant the status of highest control to the Armenians living in Nagorno Karabakh. However, Armenia has not responded in any way. In other words, the government of this country isn’t interested in solving this problem. As long as the current regime is in power in Armenia, they will never agree to solve this problem. Because they came into power on the blood of Azerbaijanis."
Recalling that he worked in the Office of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights some years ago and has met with Ali Hasanov, Head of the Department of the Council of Europe on Political Affairs, Alexander Gessel said: “I remember well my first visit to your country as a representative of the Council of Europe in 2002. We visited the places - camps in Baku, Sumgait, Saatli where refugees and IDPs have been settled. We witnessed the living conditions of IDPs having lived in the wagons, tents around railway. Over the past 15 years we see the work done by the state of Azerbaijan to improve the social conditions of refugees and IDPs. We are highly appreciating it. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres also highly assessed the activities of Azerbaijan in this field. Because this situation is not experienced frequently. The Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland has met with UN Secretary General A. Guterres recently. At the meeting, the issues on migrants and refugees which became a big problem were also discussed. The crisis has now reached to very serious level. I believe that many organizations will benefit from the experience of Azerbaijan as a model in this issue”.
Alexander Gessel stated that he also visits Armenia in connection with his position and prepares report about there. He said: “Believe me, ordinary people there like in Azerbaijan also suffer from this conflict. Everyone wants this conflict to be resolved. As you know, the Minsk Group is in charge to solve the conflict. However, the issues on the improvement of living conditions of IDPs and the attitudes towards them are within the competence of the Council of Europe. I think that the achievements of Azerbaijan in this field should be stated in the report we will prepare. Because, this report is prepared for the Committee of Ministers. It is important to state the works done in our report and in the report prepared by the Council of Europe and to give this information to other member states”. Talking about his visit to our country fifteen years ago, the guest said: “At that time Baku was plunged into darkness at night and it was impossible to find any hotel. But today, the light capital city, beautiful and modern hotels and totally new city left a great impression on me. We should also note that the investment has not been only spent on the buildings, but also on the improvement of social state of refugees and IDPs”.
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