NORWEGIAN ENVOY REJECTS AZERI OFFICIAL'S CAUSTIC REMARKS

Turan news agency
1 Apr 04

BAKU

The statement by the member of the ruling New Azerbaijan Party, MP
Mubariz Qurbanli, that Norwegian ambassador Steinar Gil has written a
book about Armenia and this is why he is so allegedly prejudiced
against Azerbaijan is wide of the mark, the Norwegian envoy has told
Turan commenting on the MP's statement published by Markaz newspaper
today.

In the article, the MP makes caustic remarks about Gil's being awarded
a diploma for the protection of democratic ideas and human
rights. Further, Qurbanli suggests that the ambassador be also given
an award for exceeding his ambassadorial responsibilities.

For instance, Qurbanli said the ambassador's stance on the human
rights problem "represents a violation of the Vienna Convention on the
status of diplomatic representatives and ambassadors".

Gil expressed surprise at the MP's "awareness" and the methods he uses
to tarnish his opponent. "Let this remain on his conscience," he said.

The Norwegian ambassador also denied reports which said that the
diploma had been conferred on him by an NGO financed from Norwegian
grants.