Armenia speaker accuses Azerbaijan of abusing position at PACE

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YEREVAN, June 29 (RIA Novosti) - Armenia's parliamentary speaker accused Azerbaijan of using the rostrum of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to insult Armenia, the parliament's press department said Thursday.

Tigran Torosyan told PACE Secretary General Terry Davis in Strasbourg Wednesday: "The PACE session in Strasbourg is highly important for joint discussion of issues linked with the fulfillment of the countries' obligations, while Azerbaijan is using the PACE rostrum to insult and slander Armenia."

Torosyan said Azerbaijani delegates had accused Armenia of starting forest fires in troubled Nagorny-Karabakh, a region in Azerbaijan with a largely ethnic Armenian population, and neighboring territories.

He said Nagorny-Karabakh had asked the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the world's largest regional security body, two weeks ago to monitor the situation and prove the accusations false.

Torosyan also said that in this situation the Armenian delegation could not abstain from reciprocal statements. He said false insults and accusations were unworthy of the Council of Europe's principles, and proposed taking steps to resolve the situation.

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