CE Secretary General Voices Concern About Warlike Statements Voiced

CE SECRETARY GENERAL VOICES CONCERN ABOUT WARLIKE STATEMENTS VOICED BY AZERBAIJANI LEADERSHIP

ArmInfo
2009-02-10 14:48:00

ArmInfo.CE Secretary General voiced concern about warlike statements
voiced by Azerbaijani leadership in an interview with Azerbaijan
Day.az agency.

The CE Secretary General also spoke of the CE position on the Karabakh
conflict.

"The position of the Council of Europe should be very clear not only
on this conflict but on other conflicts as well. We believe that
all international and domestic internal disputes should be solved by
peaceful means and it was agreed by both Azerbaijan and Armenia when
they joined the Council of Europe. Now the mediation between Azerbaijan
and Armenia about Nagorno Karabakh is a responsibility of the Minsk
Group – a part of a different organization – OSCE. And we try not to
interfere with the work of the Minsk Group", noted he and said he hopes
the meetings between the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia will
be fruitful and result in the settlement of this conflict very soon.

He also noted that there is absolutely no policy of double standards
towards Azerbaijan and voiced concern about the warlike statements
voiced in the region. Although Terry Davis did not mentioned whose
statements he is concern about, but it is only Baku that threatens
‘to settle Karabakh conflict by force’.

I think that there have been some progress in terms of democracy
and holding better elections but I am very concerned about freedom
of expression and freedom of media in Azerbaijan, said CE Secretary
General Terry Davis.

"The democracy does depend on freedom of expression and freedom of
media and I am also concerned about a number of journalists who are
being put under pressure in Azerbaijan", said he.

Speaking about the proposed amendments to the Constitution of
Azerbaijan to be introduced via a referendum, the secretary general
noted that he considers it reasonable to submit amendments to the
Constitution and to have a referendum on these amendments.

"I do not think its a very good idea to rush into a referendum. I am
also disappointed that the government of Azerbaijan did not ask for
the opinion of experts of the Council of Europe".

"I do not accept that the Council of Europe applies double standards
or different standards in different places. The Council of Europe
always supported the territorial integrity of its member-states and
that applies to Moldova, or Cyprus or Azerbaijan. I regret very much
that the way people in Azerbaijan draw attention to pointing out
difficulties in Armenia. I think Armenia does the same thing about
Azerbaijan. The fact is that both countries – both Azerbaijan and
Armenia – need to improve. There is an old saying in the Christian
Bible that before you start drawing attention to a speck of dust in
the eye of someone else, you should take out a stone from your own
eye. And I do wish that both Armenia and Azerbaijan concentrate on
solving their own problems and raising standards of democracy and
civil rights in their own country", concluded the CE Secretary General.

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