Originaly published Feb 2, 2010
STRASBOURG, France — Unprecedented diplomatic scandal broke out early Monday, as head of the Azerbaijani delegation to European Council Samad Seyidov unexpectedly torpedoed speech by Armenian delegate Armen Rustamyan. Azerbaijani diplomat generated a dramatic fart just as the Armenian delegation was justifying the right of people of Nagorno-Karabakh for self-determination. Sources report unusual tension and concentration on Seyidov’s face for ten minutes prior to the unleashed inappropriateness.
Right after the news, Government of Azerbaijan discussed prospect of awarding the Azerbaijani delegate the title of National Hero for “busting Armenian presentation and contribution to return of Karabakh to Azerbaijan”.
Azerbaijani Ombudsman spoke on Public TV of Azerbaijan condemning any potential attempt of European officials to punish the proactive Azeri diplomat. Specifically, Tofik Douchoghlu stated: “We are ready to strongly condemn any attempt of Europeans to punish Seyidov or his political manifesto. Our compatriot featured a strong political message in, perhaps, not a very traditional manner. But, hey, Europe should not forget that Armenia holds 20% of our territory under occupation for decades which forces our politicians to resort to unconventional forms of protest”.
Right after the incident, the security in the PACE building were reportedly clueless on how to handle the situation. Chief of security service within the parliament Jean Sisseux admits: “Frankly, we were not trained on this specific situation, so we hesitated between approaching it as chemical attack or delicately pretend that nothing happened. Eventually we were told it was a political message, so we kind-of backed down.”
Armenian political analyst Richard Giraosian calls the Azeri step “extension of the information warfare”. Giragosian argues that Azerbaijan continues to expand channels to highlight the Karabakh conflict. “Apparently, with the Armenia-Turkey border process, things are getting ugly in Azerbaijan. I believe this is a metaphorical threat to Armenia. Azerbaijan simply demonstrates how pissed off she is with Armenia and how far she can go to make her point audible. The air-pop itself is not as dangerous as it how it was embraced by Azerbaijani public and the authorities. Azerbaijani society manifested its commitment to support anything that annoys Armenians including, already, acoustic annoyance”, says Giragosyan.
Seyidov himself refused to elaborate on his act and only commented: “I’m proud of what I did for my country. Let’s not forget that 20% of Azerbaijan is forcibly occupied by Armenia..”, Seyodov’s eyes twinkled in lurking tears at pronouncing the word ‘occupied’. “If Armenia does not free Karabakh, we might resort to replicating this and harsher manifestos at UN and other international venues,” concluded Seyidov.
The scandal was moderated to a calm by Turkish Chairman of PACE Mevlut Cavusoglu. The new chairman commented on Azeri step as “slightly out of balance, but not contradicting to the spirit of Europe”. Cavusoglu also noted that the Azerbaijani message could potentially be provoked by Armenian speech-maker Dashnak Armen Rustamyan’s suppressed burp during speech, David Harutyunyan’s prolonged yawn during Seyidov’s speech or Zaruhi Postanjyan’s excessively hot shirt cleavage. (Note: Armenian delegation immediately responded to this by freezing Postanjyan’s participation in further sessions.)
In the meanwhile Seyodov was received at Baku airport as national hero. Several schools, parks, think-tanks and NGOs were immediately named after him. To further honor the new hero, Azerbaijan renamed NABUCCO gas pipe project connecting Baku to Europe to “Seyidov Stream”.