EU’s Schulz ‘disturbed’ by Azerbaijan’s pardon
BRUSSELS - Agence France-PresseEuropean Parliament head Martin Schulz expressed horror yesterday after Azerbaijan brushed aside criticism of its pardon for a soldier who axed an Armenian officer to death in his sleep.
Schulz added his voice to condemnation of the pardon, already sharply criticized by the U.S. and EU President Herman Van Rompuy, after Baku’s foreign minister appeared to blame Yerevan for Azerbaijani soldier Ramil Safarov’s 2004 killing of Armenian officer Gurgen Margarian. “The convention on the transfer of sentenced people should not be abused for political purpose,” Schulz said. “I am disturbed by what appears to be a politically motivated pardon of Safarov by the president of Azerbaijan,” he added, while urging Azerbaijan and Armenia to avoid any moves and statements that might exacerbate the situation. Earlier yesterday, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister told U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns that the murder was “directly related” to the war.