by Ashot Safaryan
Armenian Delegation to PACE has decided not to ask questions to President of Azerbaija Ilham Aliyev to avoid another anti-Armenian show, Hermine Naghdalyan, Head of the Delegation, Vice Speaker of the Armenian Parliament, told reporters, Thursday. Meanwhile, the silence of Armenian parliamentarians during Aliyev's speech at PACE aroused harsh criticism of Armenian media outlets and politicians. The delegation was blamed for incompetence and inability to 'get Aliyev cornered.'
The delegates, in turn, consider their behavior justified. Naghdalayan said that the experience of past years shows that addressing a question to Aliyev means to give him an opportunity to make xenophobic and fascist statements against Armenia and Armenians. Furthermore, in such situations, the delegation is not allowed to reply to the speaker.
"In addition, our questions would allow Aliyev avoid sharper and more burning questions by European parliamentarians, who voiced the problems with human rights, persecution of reporters and opposition in Azerbaijan. Baku explains all its problems with the unresolved Karabakh conflict. The conflict has become a security belt for Aliyev's clan. This time, we deprived him of that security belt," she explained. As regards the accusations by parliamentarian Hamlet Haroutiunyan, who blamed Naghdalyan for incompetence and lack of professionalism, she said: "I don't think that Haroutiunyan would act more effectively at PACE, if he were on my place."
She recalled that several years ago, the Armenian Delegation to PACE asked a question to Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan during his speech at the PACE tribune. The prime minister went furious and severely criticized the Armenian delegation. That fact also became a reason for media to criticize the Armenian delegates. "It turns out that criticism is inevitable what ever we do," Naghdalyan said.