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Sabine Freizer: "Azerbaijan will be richer due to oil incomes and increase pressure on Armenia"

02 February 2006 [10:49] - TODAY.AZ
The director of the Caucasian project of the International Crisis Group (ICG) Sabine Freizer is on a visit in Baku.

In her interview to APA today, she said that, currently ICG is analyzing what works the European Union (EU) can do to resolve the conflicts in Southern Caucasus and hold investigations: "The European Union has given us a grant for this project. I will make a speech in the European Parliament in this connection, in that speech I will present my report on the role of the European Union in Southern Caucasus and works implemented by EU. Our report will be ready till the middle of March, first presentation will be held in Brussels and following presentations in Baku, Tbilisi and Yerevan early in April. We will try to prepare a recommendation on what gifts the European Union can make in settlement of the conflicts in this region. We will also prepare a wide research concerning New Neighborhood Policy of the European Union, the priorities of Azerbaijan will be determined under the action plan with the EU and expectations of Azerbaijan, will be defined there. We consider that, the New Neighborhood Policy will serve to increase and strengthen the role of European Union in the region. As the result of this policy, the countries of the region will get an opportunity to express which role they want the European Union to play in the region. I have been conducting meetings with the embassies of EU countries in Baku since yesterday, and I got to know their assessment on how Azerbaijan is preparing to the cooperation with the European Union."

Stating that, she met with the representatives of NGOs, S.Freizer stressed that, the NGOs are more active in Georgia: "The NGOs are very active in preparation of action plan. However, the NGO’s almost play no role in Azerbaijan, they have not been involved in preparing of action plan." S.Freizer said she will meet with representatives of the parliament and government during her visit.

S.Freizer expressing her attitude to the opinions on favorable condition for resolving Nagorno Garabagh problem, she stated that, ICG agrees with the position of Minsk Group, she stressed that suitable condition has appeared for achieving peace, she added the necessity to increase efforts to achieve it: "Both of the leadership of the country should not miss this chance. We consider that, 2006 is the favorable year for resolving the conflict. If this chance is not used right, it will be difficult to do it in 2007 and 2008, because in both of the countries presidential elections will be held. Azerbaijan will get more profit from the oil starting this year. The president of Azerbaijan has stated that, if the conflict is not solved in peaceful way, the profits gained from the oil will be directed to military expenses. Of course, if it happens, anxiety will appear. Besides it, it will be more expedient if the profits were directed to the improvement of infrastructure, development of life condition of the population."

S.Freizer thinks that, Azerbaijan will be richer country as a result of the profits from the oil and its pressure to Armenia will be increased. Touching on the issue that ICG criticized the parliamentary elections held in Azerbaijan and called on international organizations to impose sanctions on our country S.Freiser said that reports of ICG were more serious than the other international organizations': "Commitments we forwarded to both Azerbaijani government and international community have not been solved yet."

Speaking on the issue that opposition does not join reelection and refuse to attend the parliament S.Freiser said that it was recommended when the credentials of Azerbaijani delegation was approved in the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe amendments have to be made to Election Code: "If these were fulfilled, we can hope for fair reelections. In this case, I think opposition will also go to the elections. I think that PACE will be serious in its recommendations."


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