Ilham Aliyev’s speech at the opening session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly

On June 28 Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev made a speech at the opening ceremony of the 23rd session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in Baku. He said that Azerbaijan is a democratic country, which respects freedom of assembly, speech, media, the Internet, which have access to 70 percent of the population. However, he told about the continuation of political reforms, modernization of the country, and therefore Azerbaijan is ready to cooperate with the OSCE. Stability of the political situation, according to Aliyev, allows to plan the future and implement the goals to modernize the country.

Concerning foreign policy, Aliyev called for the development of mechanisms that would allow approval of rules of international law on a global basis. He said that in today’s world there is often selective approach in the implementation of international law. Some UNSC resolutions are fulfilled within a few hours working on, and some are not implemented for more than 20 years, as in the case of Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan suffers from such a situation, for more than 20 years, twenty percent of internationally recognized territories of Azerbaijan under Armenian occupation. Armenia ignores the UN Security Council resolutions, decisions of the Lisbon Summit of the OSCE, PACE and the European Parliament is not willing to release something that is not her own, he said. Aliyev pointed to repeated statements of presidents of the OSCE Minsk Group – the U.S., France and Russia on non admissibility of the status quo. As for the principle of self-determination, it must not act against the territorial integrity.

Concerning the creation of trust mechanisms between Armenia and Azerbaijan, Aliyev said that they should start with withdrawal of Armenian troops from the occupied territories. He also drew attention to the economic success of the country, its contribution to global energy security.

The OSCE PA President, Speaker of the Parliament of Montenegro, Ranko Krivokapic, focused on the situation in Ukraine. “We sympathize with and feel sympathy for Ukraine. There rights are violated mentally and physically. Our organization must ensure the full cooperation of all countries. If we do that, we can stop the tragedy in Ukraine and elsewhere. We believe that the Russian State Duma and the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine should find common ground,” said Krivokapic.

Speaker of Azerbaijani Parliament Oktay Asadov said that Azerbaijan has always been a supporter of the implementation of the Helsinki principles. He called on the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly to condemn Armenia for the violation of these principles and the occupation of Azerbaijani territories.

The OSCE Chairman-President of Switzerland Didier Burghalter also focused on the situation in Ukraine. He welcomed the decision of the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko to extend the truce. Acting chairman at the same time expressed concern about the fact that four of the OSCE observers taken hostage separatists have not yet been released.

“It hinders international efforts to resolve the situation, he said. Concerning the problems facing the OSCE, he noted the need to further improve the mechanisms within the organization during the “Helsinki + 40” and bring them into line with the needs and challenges of the 21st century. However, he pointed to the importance of strengthening the security architecture of the OSCE to cooperate with other regional organizations.

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