Pro-Armenian Lobbies Author PACE's Resolution Against Azerbaijan - Jean-Michel Brun

(MENAFN- Trend News Agency) BAKU, Azerbaijan, January 25. Editor-in-chief of the La Gazette du Caucase online newspaper based in Paris, renowned French journalist Jean-Michel Brun has published an article about the decision of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) not to ratify the credentials of the Azerbaijani delegation, Trend reports.

The article reads as follows:

In geopolitical terms, it is difficult to understand this position, which appears to ignore the fact that the entire international community, as evidenced by four successive UN Security Council resolutions, has reaffirmed the need to protect Azerbaijan's territorial sovereignty and emphasizes that Karabakh is an integral part of Azerbaijan. European countries, led by France, have voted in favor of the resolutions.

From this standpoint, the PACE declaration seems to reek of falsehood. This is surprising, especially considering it comes from an institution that asserts its commitment to upholding international law. Furthermore, the declaration employs language reminiscent of the Armenian press and appears to be crafted by pro-Armenian lobbies for the benefit of Western politicians and media.

The attempt to curtail Azerbaijan's voting rights is equally surprising, particularly when Azerbaijan has never sought to limit Armenia's voting rights during the period when Armenia occupied Azerbaijani territory. When Azerbaijan joined the Council of Europe, the organization did not take any measures against Armenia's aggression towards Azerbaijan and its occupation of territories, merely issuing a few declarations of no legal value.

In humanitarian terms, the language used bears an uncanny resemblance to the recurring declarations of Armenian nationalists, amplified by influential Armenian lobbies. At no point were Armenian civilians under threat, and there was never a demand for their evacuation. It was the authorities of the self-proclaimed separatist entity, unrecognized by any country, including Armenia, that encouraged residents of Khankendi to leave, at times resorting to intimidation.

Labeling the situation as ethnic cleansing is highly inappropriate, especially considering that the only country in the region to have engaged in mass ethnic cleansing was Armenia. In 1987, Armenia expelled the 250,000 Azerbaijanis residing near the capital Yerevan, and later displaced 750,000 Azerbaijanis from Karabakh during the Armenian invasion of 1991-1993.

Characterizing Karabakh as an Armenian "homeland" is almost comical. Even the President of the Armenian National Assembly, Alen Simonyan, has implicitly acknowledged that the thousand-year-old presence of Armenians in Karabakh is a fabricated narrative concocted over the past 30 years.

In the eyes of the Western bloc, it seemed necessary, if not to control outright, at least to establish strategic outposts in the Caucasus region - a zone abundant in natural resources and of immense geostrategic significance. It is a crucial juncture along the "New Silk Road," serving as a convergence point for Russia, Iran, and Türkiye.

The notion of leveraging Armenia is not a novel one. Dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries, the Russian Empire utilized Christian Armenia as a buffer against the Persian and Ottoman empires. During the First World War, Russia and the Allies endeavored to employ Armenians in Anatolia as an internal front against the Ottomans, who had aligned themselves with the Axis powers, mirroring the alliance between England and France with the Arab tribes of the Gulf.

France, a significant actor in this manipulation, has been in regular contact with the United States for more than 15 years. Domestic policy issues are the fundamental impetus for France's diplomatic struggle with Azerbaijan, a powerful nation in Europe. The French Armenian diaspora, which holds crucial roles in a variety of French soft power organizations including as political parties, local elected representatives, and the media, should not be disregarded. However, domestic politics is the primary cause behind France's approach. The French government, notably influenced by Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, has chosen to divert attention away from pressing social issues in France, such as the "Yellow Vest" protests, farmer discontent, deterioration of public services, healthcare challenges, education concerns, population impoverishment, and middle-class tax pressures, by refocusing on an imagined adversary: immigration and Muslims.

But what is Azerbaijan's perspective on this matter? Certainly, the authorities in Baku vehemently protested against the PACE resolution, mirroring their objection to the recent resolution by the French Senate. However, does any of this truly impact Azerbaijan? Azerbaijan is experiencing remarkable economic growth. In just a few months, the towns of Karabakh, previously devastated by Armenian forces, have been rebuilt, and their original inhabitants have returned. Baku is set to host COP 29, Shusha has been designated the "cultural capital of the Muslim world," and Azerbaijan plays a crucial role in sustaining Europe's standard of living through its energy supplies. So, what significance does the PACE vote freeze hold for Baku or the statements made by certain French or German politicians? Probably not much.

Azerbaijan has demonstrated that it can engage in peace negotiations without relying on Europe or any other country, rendering the grandstanding in Strasbourg somewhat trivial. If the resolution is confirmed, Azerbaijan may likely respond by discontinuing all activities within this organization and potentially withdrawing from the European Court of Human Rights, which seemingly dispenses human rights based on the prevailing ideology of the moment.

However, it is essential to recognize that Europe depends on Azerbaijan more than Azerbaijan relies on Europe. Azerbaijan is a key player in energy, international transport, and is on the verge of becoming a leader in renewable energy. The stability of the region is vital for Europe's overall equilibrium, especially if Europe aims to avoid ceding its economic and political influence exclusively to Russia and China. Yet, it appears that ideology often takes precedence over reason.

Some politicians and opinion leaders have concocted a narrative of an alleged "clash of civilizations", asserting an international manifestation through the perceived confrontation between so-called "Christian" and "Muslim" nations, despite Azerbaijan being a secular nation. Consequently, Europe struggles to accept that Azerbaijan has regained sovereignty over its entire territory and expelled foreign armed forces that had occupied parts of its land for three decades. The fact that Azerbaijan achieved this independently, without involving Europe, is surprising, especially given the Minsk Group's incapacity, co-chaired by France and the US, to find a solution to the conflict that Azerbaijan resolved within a month and a half.

These variables are likely to account for the uneven speeches heard at the Council of Europe Assembly since 2020. The rise of Islamophobia in Europe, together with the rise of far-right parties, sheds light on other European institutions' recurring views against Azerbaijan and, at the same time, Türkiye.


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