Shahmar Movsumov: “Azerbaijan can quit EITI”

Baku: “This organization is going to become a defender of NGOs’ rights”

“Certain changes occur in the mandate of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). This organization is going to become a defender of Non-Governmental Organizations’ rights and used as a tool of pressure on Azerbaijan”, said the Executive Director of State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan Shahmar Movsumov at the press conference.

“Azerbaijan was one of its first member-countries. We have joined this organization since 2003 and had first report in 2005. Azerbaijan has also become member of Board of Directors of the organization. Congo hosted next meeting of EITI Board of Directors last month. NGOs put forward proposals on quit of Azerbaijan. Of course, the proposal was not accepted. Because all members were aware of Azerbaijan’s contribution to this organization.

Thereafter, they put forward proposal to freeze Azerbaijan’s membership. However, this proposal was not accepted either. All countries and companies supported Azerbaijan. However, under the pressure, it was decided to change Azerbaijan’s status “full-fledged member” to status of “candidate” and maintain this status for 12 months and take several measures. Of course, we don’t agree with this decision”, Movsumov said.

The Executive Director added that Azerbaijani government is discussing the issue theht whether it will participate in this organization or not: “Because we joined this organization to increase transparency for our citizens and were doing our best for this purpose. Azerbaijan’s reports are accepted as the most accurate and detailed reports in the world and any Azerbaijani citizen has access to any information. How much oil and gas Azerbaijan has produced.

All this information is transparent. We’ll go on in this regard. We do that for our citizens. We exchange our opinions in this regard and pass our final decision. If injustice continues against us, we’ll have to quit the organization”.

SOURCE: Azeri Press News Agency