Procedure : 2006/2527(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : RC-B6-0111/2006

Texts tabled :

RC-B6-0111/2006

Debates :

PV 16/02/2006 - 14.1
CRE 16/02/2006 - 14.1

Votes :

PV 16/02/2006 - 15.1

Texts adopted :

P6_TA(2006)0069

JOINT MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
PDF 96kWORD 63k
15 February 2006
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pursuant to Rule 115(5) of the Rules of Procedure, by
   Charles Tannock and Bernd Posselt, on behalf of the PPE-DE Group
   Pasqualina Napoletano, Jan Marinus Wiersma, Hannes Swoboda and Panagiotis Beglitis, on behalf of the PSE Group
   Frédérique Ries and Thierry Cornillet, on behalf of the ALDE Group
   Marie Anne Isler Béguin and Cem Özdemir, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group
   Vittorio Agnoletto, on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group
   Michał Tomasz Kamiński and Konrad Szymański,on behalf of the UEN Group
replacing the motions by the following groups:
   PPE-DE (B6‑0111)
   GUE/NGL (B6‑0115/06)
   ALDE (B6‑0126/06)
   PPE-DE (B6‑0129/06)
   UEN (B6‑0130/06)
   Verts/ALE (B6‑0134/06)
on Azerbaijan

European Parliament resolution on Azerbaijan 

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its resolutions of 9 June 2005 and 27 October 2005 on Azerbaijan(1),

–  having regard to its resolution of 19 January 2006 on the European Neighbourhood Policy(2),

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on the South Caucasus and especially its resolution adopted on 11 March 1999(3) and its recommendation adopted on 26 February 2004(4),

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on the South Caucasus and especially its resolution adopted on 11 March 1999(5) and its recommendation adopted on 26 February 2004(6),

–  having regard to the decision taken by the Council on the 14 June 2004 to include both Armenia and Azerbaijan in the European Neighbourhood Policy, in particular for the purpose of fostering goodneighbourly relations, especially through respect for minorities,

–  having regard to the obligations of Azerbaijan and Armenia towards the Council of Europe, especially through the European Cultural Convention, the revised European Convention for the Protection of Archaeological Heritage, and the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, that they have ratified and undertaken to respect,

–  having regard to the UNESCO 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and its 1954 Protocol, to which both Armenia and Azerbaijan are party, as applicable to occupied territories,

–  having regard to the 2003 UNESCO Declaration concerning the Intentional Destruction of Cultural Heritage whereby the international community recognises the importance of the protection of cultural heritage and reaffirms its commitment to combat its intentional destruction in any form so that such cultural heritage may be transmitted to the succeeding generations,

–  having regard to the report of ICOMOS(7) and the intermediary report on freedom of worship and religion made by the UN Committee for Human Rights(8),

–  having regard to Rule 115(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas allegations have been made by Armenia that campaigns to destroy the Armenian cemetery at Djulfa in the region of Nakhichevan were carried out by Azerbaijani forces in November 1998 and December 2002; whereas the most recent destruction took place in December 2005, as evidenced by the recent video footage from the Armenian authorities,

B.  whereas there were numerous reactions to these actions from the international community; whereas Azerbaijan has not provided answers to inquiries from Mr Abdelfattah Amor, the former special rapporteur of the United Nations, concerning the events in November 1998 and December 2002,

C.  whereas serious allegations have been raised about the involvement of the Azerbaijani authorities in the destruction of these monuments,

D.  underlining the exceptional nature of this archaeological site, which still had 6 000 'khatchkars' remaining – crosses carved in stone typical of Armenian religious art – and which testifies to the ethnic and cultural diversity of the region,

E.  whereas the destruction or desecration of any monuments or objects of cultural, religious or national heritage infringes the principles of the European Union,

F.  whereas that destruction is taking place in the context of the suspended conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan on the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh,

G.  whereas the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has already led directly or indirectly to the destruction by Armenian forces of many invaluable objects of Azerbaijani cultural, religious and historical heritage in the occupied territories, in Nagorno-Karabakh and on Armenian territory,

H.  whereas there might soon be a favourable outcome to the negotiations on Nagorno-Karabakh and agreement might be reached on the principles for settling the conflict in spite of the unproductive meeting in Rambouillet between the presidents of Armenia and of Azerbaijan on 10 and 11 February 2006,

I.  recalling that the European Neighbourhood Policy aims to establish a privileged partnership with Azerbaijan and Armenia on the basis of common values, including respect for minorities and their cultural heritage,

1.  Condemns strongly the destruction of the Djulfa cemetery as well as the destruction of all sites of historical importance that has taken place on Armenian or Azerbaijani territory, and condemns any such action that seeks to destroy the cultural heritage of a people;

2.  Calls on the Council and the Commission to make clear to Armenia and Azerbaijan that all efforts must be made to stop the practice of ethnic cleansing which has led to such actions, and to find ways to facilitate the gradual return of refugees and displaced people;

3.  Demands that Azerbaijan and Armenia respect their international commitments - notably in the cultural realm - and especially those deriving from their accession to the Council of Europe and incorporation into the European Neighbourhood Policy;

4.  Stresses that respect for minority rights including historical, religious and cultural heritage is conditional on the genuine and effective development of the European Neighbourhood Policy, which must also lead to the establishment of goodneighbourly relations between all the countries concerned;

5.  Demands that Azerbaijan allow missions dedicated to surveying and protecting the archaeological heritage on its territory, especially Armenian heritage, such as experts working with ICOMOS, and also allow a European Parliament delegation to visit the archaeological site at Djulfa;

6.  Calls on Armenia and Azerbaijan to abide by their international commitments, in particular in the area of culture and of safeguarding cultural heritage, entered into within international bodies such as UNESCO and the Council of Europe, and calls on them to do their utmost to protect archaeological, historical and cultural heritage on their territories in order to prevent the destruction of other endangered sites;

7.  Invites the Commission and the Council to incorporate a clause on protecting those territories’ invaluable archaeological or historical sites into the action plans currently being discussed in a European Neighbourhood Policy context;

8.  Invites the Commission and the Council to make the implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy action plans conditional on respect by Azerbaijan's and Armenia's for universally accepted principles, in particular their obligations as members of the Council of Europe, regarding human and minority rights, and calls on the Commission and the Council to incorporate into these action plans specific provisions for the protection of the cultural heritage of minorities;

9.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the national parliaments and governments of the Member States, the Government and the President of Armenia, the Government and the President of Azerbaijan, as well as the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the Director-General of UNESCO and the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

(1) Texts Adopted, P6_TA(2005)0243 and P6_TA(2005)0411.
(2) Texts Adopted P6_TA(2006)0028.
(3) OJ C 175 E 21.6.1999, p. 251.
(4) OJ C 98 E, 23.4.2004, p. 193.
(5) OJ C 175 E 21.6.1999, p. 251.
(6) OJ C 98 E, 23.4.2004, p. 193.
(7) ICOMOS World Report on Monuments and Sites in danger 2002 – “Heritage@Risk” .
(8) 58th Session of the UN General Assembly – Document 1/58/296, 19.8.2003.

Last updated: 15 February 2006Legal notice