Let’s Renew Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan Civil Society Relations Active in the 90s: Armenian MP
Regional cooperation is hindered by “well-known regional problems,” said Azay Guliev, member of Azerbaijan’s National Assembly and vice-chair of EuroNest Parliamentary Assembly‘s Committee on Social Affairs, Education, Culture and Civil Society, at a meeting of the committee in Yerevan Wednesday.
“We have to do everything possible so that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is resolved in accordance with international standards. After that, doors will open for both Azerbaijan and Armenia,” he said.
Responding to Guliev’s statement, Prosperous Armenia Party MP Naira Zohrabyan said: “We can assume that Azerbaijan supports regional cooperation — minus Armenia. We hoped that at least this meeting wouldn’t turn into a traditional debate.”
Heritage Party MP Larisa Alaverdyan, however, closed the subject by saying that this EuroNest meeting is not the proper place to clarify Armenia-Azerbaijan relations.
“In 1992–1995, there was active cooperation among civil society representatives in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. After 2002, this relationship ended. Now we just have to renew relations. I am expressing my willingness to begin such a program,” she said.
This exchange began with Committee on Social Affairs, Education, Culture and Civil Society co-chair Laima Liucija Andrikiene saying, “Establishing civil society will bring EuroNest member countries closer to the EU. The most important element of a good working system of government is civil society.”
Andrikiene stressed that cooperation not only between the EU and Eastern Partnership member countries (Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Belarus and Ukraine), but also among Eastern Partnership member countries are necessary for developing society.
This meeting of the Committee on Social Affairs, Education, Culture and Civil Society, held Feb. 21–23 in the Armenian capital, which, according to a statement issued by the National Assembly of Armenia, is being organized for the first time not in a European Parliament member country, will address strategies to reduce poverty, to empower women and youth in civil society and parliament, and to develop civil society in partner countries.
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