The Member of Parliament for Larissa of the New Democracy Party, Maximos Harakopoulos, in a letter to the Speaker of the Greek Parliament, Costas Tassoulas, announced his departure from the Greek-Azerbaijani parliamentary friendship group “as an act of protest against the refusal of Turkey to stop the bloody attacks in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, despite the repeated calls of the international community, the participation of foreign mercenary jihadists from Syria and Libya in military operations, but also the negative rhetoric given by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Aliyev to the Greek ambassador in Baku, Nikolaos Piperigos, during the presentation of his credentials”
While accepting the credentials on September 4 from Greece’s newly appointed ambassador to Baku, Nikolaos Piperigos, Aliyev directly told the diplomat:
“I can tell you, and it is no secret, that Turkey is not only our friend and partner, but also a brotherly country for us. Without any hesitation whatsoever, we support Turkey and will support it under any circumstances. We support them [Turkey] in all issues, including the issue in the Eastern Mediterranean.”
The comments by Aliyev are unprecedented when considering the usual formalities of a head of state accepting the credentials of a new ambassador.
Harakopoulos recalled that “as chairman of the Greek-Azerbaijani Parliamentary Friendship Committee, during the period 2004-2007, I worked to promote relations between the two countries and eliminate Ottoman anti-Greek stereotypes, which are unfortunately reviving in Azeri society and political personnel of the country after the dissolution of the former USSR. For this reason we had taken initiatives, such as the organization of the first official visit of a parliamentary delegation to Baku on 23-26 January 2007 where, together with colleagues Mr. Tsiara and Karpuza, we had a series of important contacts and meetings, among others, with the then Speaker of Parliament Oktay Asadov.”
“Unfortunately, Baku’s obsession with waging a full-scale war, using even jihadists in its military ranks, with civilians as the main victims, is another piece in the resurgence of conflict throughout the Eastern Mediterranean and the Caucasus, whose main motivator is the Turkish leadership and its neo-Ottoman visions. The logic of resolving disputes through violence and arms, promoted by Ankara, must find universal condemnation from the international community. Otherwise, the consequences will be disastrous for the international system and, above all, for the people of our wider region,” he said.
Harakopoulos concludes by noting that “the leadership of Azerbaijan, as the President of the country unequivocally confirmed to the Greek ambassador, is completely identified with Turkish politics. Therefore, as long as this treaty exists, my participation in this parliamentary friendship committee is irrelevant.”