Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev has refused to participate in the summit of the Eastern Partnership in Riga, Latvia on May 21-22, the president’s aide Aly Gasanov said explaining that the president was too busy due to the coming European Games.
Azerbaijan will be represented by deputy head of the presidential administration Novruz Mamedov and Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov.
EADaily reported earlier that no documents are expected to be signed between Baku and Brussels at the summit.
As APA reports citing diplomatic sources, the president decided not to participate in the summit in response to the recent “biased anti-Azerbaijani campaign” in the West and “extended NGOs’ activity against Azerbaijan guided from European capitals”.
According to other sources, some time ago Novruz Mamedov invited head of the EU mission to Baku Malena Mard and expressed protest against the anti-Azerbaijani campaign. He urged to suspend hearings on Azerbaijan at the European Parliament scheduled for May 12, saying that otherwise participation of the Azerbaijani president in the Riga summit would be under question.
Diplomatic sources also note that growing anti-Azerbaijani attitudes make impossible a strategic partnership with the West. They say the Azerbaijani government received information that the European parliament was intending to pass a new resolution against Azerbaijan and therefore Aliyev decided not to go to the summit in Riga.