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President Ilham Aliyev`s Order on security measures on the frontline is of big importance from both political and military perspectives

Interview with  Chairman of the Milli Majlis Committee on Legal Policy and State Building Ali Huseynli

Q: President Ilham Aliyev has recently signed Order “On some security measures on the line of contact between the Armed Forces of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia” We would like you to comment on the importance of this order…

A: President Ilham Aliyev`s Order “On some security measures on the line of contact between the Armed Forces of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia” is of big importance from both political and military points of view. This order sends serious messages to both local public and the international community. The political importance of this order lies in the fact that Azerbaijan`s position on the Karabakh problem is resolute and unanimous. Despite ongoing peace negotiations, recent escalation of violence on the line of contact proves seriousness of the situation. This means that if peace talks fail, Azerbaijan will liberate its occupied lands by force. The current status-quo is unacceptable.

From the military point of view, I would like to note that the order features several issues. I appreciate the decision to create a patrol service. The fact that this service will enroll local volunteers is of profound significance. As you know my ordinary citizens expressed their readiness to help the Azerbaijani army after the Armenians` acts of sabotage on the line of contact in September. This will boost the army`s spirits among other issues.

The order also provides for the improvement of some laws. For example, the law on the military situation should be improved to meet modern requirements because ongoing developments show that we must not rule out the possibility of war.

Another important issue is media coverage of what happens on the line of contact. Earlier head of the Presidential Administration Ramiz Mehdiyev chaired a high-level meeting involving spokespersons of government bodies and media leaders. At this meeting Ramiz Mehdiyev said: “Recent violence on the Armenian-Azerbaijani state border and the line of contact has revealed illegal and unprofessional activities of some mass media outlets, particularly Internet resources, and also clearly demonstrated inability of relevant public bodies responsible for information provision to properly perform their functions. Necessary steps must be taken to ensure that any action against Azerbaijan`s independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and constitution or any attempt to take such actions, including those threatening the information security and national interests of the society, face the full force of the law.”

Q: The European Parliament has recently adopted a biased resolution on the situation of human rights in Azerbaijan. How do you think what lies at the heart of this document?

A: Azerbaijan is located in a volatile South Caucasus region, where it plays a critical role in establishing peace and security.  Azerbaijan seriously influences the formation of political and economic atmosphere in the region. Azerbaijan builds its relations with other countries based on the principle of mutual respect to sovereignty and mutual trust. Azerbaijan is a self-sufficient country which relies on its power. It pursues an independent policy. All this increases the country`s influence and improves its international prestige. Foreign experts and political analysts hail Azerbaijan`s role in the system of regional and international relations.

Based on this, one can say that Azerbaijan`s regional policy is capable of seriously influencing the region`s future both from political and economic perspectives. And this means that Azerbaijan`s growing international prestige also means growing international influence of the region.

There is the Armenian lobby in many parts of the world today. They are primarily conducting blackmail campaign against Azerbaijan with the aim of undermining our international image.

They encourage some organizations and countries to allege that human rights and democratic principles are violated in Azerbaijan. But Azerbaijan is a constitutional state, where the rule of law is fully ensured.

Those countries who accuse Azerbaijan of violating democratic rights of people should first of all look inside their own affairs.

Q: Can talks with representatives of the European Parliament in the EURONEST format give positive results on this front?

A: Azerbaijan is member of neither the European Union, nor the European Parliament. However, we teamed up with several other countries to actively participate in the Eastern Partnership initiative. EURONEST is a venue where we can work together and carry out joint activities with European parliamentarians. We also made our proposals and criticism when we joined this organization. One of such issues was that when decisions are made relation to any country we should do it in collaboration and cooperation with this country. We can our secretariat where we can solve disputed issues. But what we have today is that certain political circles continue to make biased decisions and adopt biased resolutions with the help of certain corrupt officials. And this contradicts norms of sound cooperation and partnership.

I think that the latest resolution adopted by the European Parliament is as much biased as the previous documents adopted by the organization. I have repeatedly said that before making any decision or adopting any resolution in relation to the state of democracy, human rights or economic situation in Azerbaijan, the European Parliament should carry out certain discussions with the Azerbaijani delegation through the EURONEST secretariat. It should get certain information from us so that not make any biased decisions.

Q: Some Western circles allege that there are not normal conditions for NGOs in Azerbaijan. even the US President said that the country`s legislation limits the activities of NGOs. What is you opinion on this?

A: As you know that Azerbaijan teamed up with the USA in anti-terror coalition. Our country is also playing a critical role in ensuring Europe`s energy security. I mean our countries maintain close cooperation on many fronts. And the US officials have repeatedly said that Azerbaijan was their strategic ally and partner. In this context, I believe that President Barack Obama`s statement contradicts the spirit of Azerbaijan-USA relations.

As far as our legislation is concerned, I would like to say that we have made a number of amendments and supplements to improve our laws on non-governmental organizations and on state registration of legal persons. We did this after carefully learning the best international practices, which meets US standards.

However I think that we shall take some measures to increase transparency in financing NGOs. As you know we hold the rotating presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe now. So we must set an example of how to increase transparency and fight against corruption. This is our priority.