Azerbaijani officials, OSCE PA discuss prospects of ties

By Aynur Karimova

The prospects of relations between Azerbaijan and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, as well as ways to further develop this cooperation were high on the agenda of talks held between Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov and OSCE PA delegation in Baku on January 25.

The delegation was led by Vice-Presidents of the OSCE PA George Tsereteli and Kent Harstedt, and OSCE PA Secretary General Roberto Montella.

The sides exchanged views on the negotiations process mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs. They said the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the main threat to the regional peace and security.

“OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs and all international community accept unacceptability and non-durability of the current status-quo,” Mammadyarov said adding that the role and contributions of international organizations in accordance with the principles of international law and UN Charter are appreciated.

He stressed the importance of withdrawal of Armenian Armed Forces from Azerbaijan's occupied territories.

Touching upon the importance of the parliamentary diplomacy, Mammadyarov noted that Azerbaijan is interested in cooperation in this regard.

The OSCE PA delegation also met with Prime Minister Artur Rasizade, who stated that Azerbaijan is open to the cooperation with the international organizations, and with OSCE as well.

He also highlighted the important role of Azerbaijan in ensuring energy security of Europe.

The Premier stressed the importance of keeping up efforts, as well as taking real steps for settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and also expressed regret that international organizations demonstrate double standards in settlement of the problem.

He stated that it is important the OSCE to take Armenia's non-constructive and insincere position into consideration, which prolongs the conflict.

Tsereteli, in turn, said Azerbaijan is one of the important countries for Europe and expressed hope that relations will be improved and bilateral cooperation will be continued in the future.

The OSCE PA delegation also met with Parliamentary chair Ogtay Asadov and deputy chair Bahar Muradova.

“Azerbaijan successfully cooperates with the OSCE PA,” Asadov said adding that Azerbaijan is successfully cooperating with the OSCE PA, which continues for more than 10 years.

Muradova, in turn, said values shared by Azerbaijan and OSCE serve to ensure security and cooperation in Europe.

“The country will do its utmost to preserve the common values,” she added.

Muradova touched upon the parliamentary elections held in Azerbaijan. She said international organizations, including the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, which observed the voting process, hailed the elections as democratic.

Tsereteli, in turn, expressed OSCE's concern about the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and generally about the tensions on the contact lines.

“Conflicts in this region are high on our agenda. The OSCE PA has consistently supported the work of the Minsk Group and shares its concern about increasing violence. A new level of political will is the key to progress. There is no alternative to a political settlement of the conflict, which will benefit both Azerbaijan and Armenia and their people, as well as the wider region,” Tsereteli said after the meetings. “It is our hope that this visit will revitalize our relations, enabling closer work on a wide range of issues of relevance to Azerbaijan and to the OSCE.”

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Aynur Karimova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Aynur_Karimova

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