Turkey and Russia will step up efforts to act together against the rising far-right movements and undemocratic practices at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).
Parliament Speaker Binali Yıldırım and Vyacheslav Volodin, the chairman of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of Russian Federation, met Sunday ahead of the third meeting of the heads of the parliament of the Eurasian countries. They discussed the increasing radicalism in Europe and the PACE's discriminative actions. In the meeting held in southern Turkey's Antalya, Yıldırım described PACE as a "nest of radicals," adding that "unfortunately, the right proposals do not receive a response there [PACE]; they have lost touch with global and regional realities."
The far-right parties have recently been gaining electoral successes across the European continent and strengthened their positions in European Union organizations. The rise of these radical parties and Islamophobic sentiment have often been criticized by Turkish politicians.
Last week, the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) spokesman Ömer Çelik criticized the rise of far-right movements in the continent, by saying that "What Daesh is to the Middle East; Europan far-right groups are the same for Europe." Volodin touched upon depriving the Russian delegation its right to vote in PACE, stressing that the "relations between states must be based on the principles of openness, away from double standards and interference in the affairs of sovereign states."
Previously, the Russian delegation had been denied voting rights at PACE due to the Russian lawmakers' supportive actions on the occupation and annexation of Crimea by Moscow.
Highlighting that the "tampering of the rights of national delegations is unacceptable," Volodin said that the rules that designate the exercises of the 47 member states of the Council of Europe should also include the Russian Parliamentary Assembly. "It is necessary to join forces so that the parliamentary structures where we participate can maintain a common attitude in upholding democratic principles and the rights of national delegations," he added. Volodin suggested that Ankara and Moscow should sign a memorandum of understanding on the establishment of a high-level parliamentary committee between the two countries. He also invited Yıldırım to visit Russia to take a serious step towards building relations between the parliamentarians, underscoring the importance of the developing relations between the two countries and the cooperation between President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
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