US Assistant Secretary of State Says He is Concerned over Arrest of Journalists in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan, Baku, November 18/ Trend , corr A. Huseynbala/ Representatives of governing and opposition parties of Azerbaijan discussed results of presidential election, development of democracy and arrest of journalists during meeting with David Kramer, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.

"US Assistant Secretary of State expressed his concern over the arrest of journalists in Azerbaijan and stated that he will discuss this issue at the meeting with representatives of the government," Eldar Namazov, President of For Azerbaijan public forum, part of Center for Opposition Cooperation (COC), who also attended the meeting, told Trend .

Kramer began his visit to Azerbaijan today. US Assistant Secretary of State will meet with senior government, political and civil society representatives and will discuss full scope of democracy and human rights issues, including media freedom, religious freedom and freedom of assembly.

There are 3 arrested journalists in Azerbaijan.

Kramer's visit is a continuation of dialogue between Azerbaijan and US. Kramer last visited Azerbaijan in June 2007.

Center for Opposition Cooperation includes bloc Azadlig (Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan, Liberal Party, Citizens and Development Party), Musavat Party and For Azerbaijan public forum. At early September, parties included in Azadlig bloc the (the Popular Front Party, the Liberal Party and the Citizen and Development), the Musavat Party and the Public Forum 'For Azerbaijan' signed a joint statement on recognition of the presidential elections to be held on 15 October as illegitimate. Government to be formed after the presidential elections is announced as illegitimate in the statement.

Political organizations included in COC, pro-government parties excluding governing NAP, and heads of representations of National Democracy and Republicans Institute in Azerbaijan attended the meeting. Results of Azerbaijan's presidential election, human rights, development of democracy and freedom of media were discussed during the meeting.

"Kramer promised us to discuss democracy, human rights and freedom of media with the representatives of Azerbaijani government," Namazov added.

The correspondent can be contacted at : [email protected]

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