EU Attaches Great Importance to State of Democratic Values, Human Rights in Azerbaijan – European Parliament’s Representative
Azerbaijan, Baku / Тrend corr I. Alizadeh / European Union (EU) is interested and seriously anxious about the situation regarding freedom of speech and press, human rights in Azerbaijan, the head of the European Parliament's delegation, Marie Anne Isler Beguin, said at the meeting of the EU-Azerbaijan Inter-parliamentary Cooperation Committee in Baku on 12 September.
Azerbaijanis attach great importance to integration to Europe and EU backs this process, she said. According to her, the discussions being held between EU and Azerbaijan will promote the integration. "But there are a range of issues we are interested in. The heads of several NGOs and political parties during their visits to Brussels report on the situation in Azerbaijan, observation of human rights, freedom of speech and press situation. We want to carry out work on removal of problems in this field," Beguin said.
Many people in Azerbaijan believe EU's main purpose is energetic cooperation, she noted. "Energy cooperation with Azerbaijan is really important for EU. But EU attaches special importance to the state of democratic values and human rights in Azerbaijan," she stressed.
According to Beguin, this issue should be discussed at the meeting to be held in Baku, for presidential elections are approaching in Azerbaijan. Other issues regarding democratization, especially the work and the action plan implemented within the framework of European Neighbourhood Policy also should be discussed.
Beguin said that there is some progress in settlement of Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
The Deputy Speaker of Azerbaijani Parliament, Valeh Askarov, the Deputy Prime Minister, Abid Sharifov, and other officials were in attendance.