British deputy foreign minister discusses human rights and freedom of speech in Baku
Azerbaijan, Baku, 14 March / Trend E. Mehdiyev /
The UK government has always supported human rights and freedom of speech. Azerbaijan and Great Britain have common interests and successfully continue cooperation, the level of which allows for discussions of such issues according to British deputy foreign minister Simon Fraser, commenting on the state of human rights in Azerbaijan.
Fraser said he has been informed of the latest action held in Baku and noted the issue of human rights has been discussed during meetings with the country's leadership. According to him, this issue was not the only topic of discussion.
"During the meeting in Baku there was an opportunity to discuss the upcoming presidential elections which will be held this year. The British government believes that these should be transparent and freedom of speech guaranteed. The citizens must enjoy the right for peaceful protest. This is an important issue for all countries," Fraser said.
With regard to cooperation in the energy sector, the deputy minister said that BP is the biggest investor in Azerbaijan and that he has discussed the company's performance with the Azerbaijani president.
Fraser was confident BP is a company serious about its strategic presence in the country which coincides with the intentions of the Azerbaijani government.
On Thursday, the permanent under-secretary of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Simon Fraser delivered a lecture on the 'High Diplomatic Service' at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy (ADA), talking about UK foreign policy, organisation and priorities, including the UK's diplomatic experience.
Simon Fraser then took questions from ADA students.