Baku, Azerbaijan, May 24
Secretary General of the Council of Europe (CoE), Thorbjorn Jagland and the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Anne Brasseur were on a visit to Azerbaijan from May 20 to May 23, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry told Trend on May 24.
During the visit, they met with the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Chairman of the country's Milli Mejlis (parliament), Ogtay Asadov and other officials.
During the meetings, the parties exchanged views on the priorities of Azerbaijan's chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe and the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
They also discussed the topical international and regional issues, as well as the report 'On the state of human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe'.
During the visit, the Council of Europe's Action Plan for Azerbaijan 2014-2016 was presented with the participation of Jagland.
The secretary general also visited the ASAN Xidmet Center No 4 and praised the activity of this service, adding that it can be a positive example for the country's of the Council of Europe.
A meeting of PACE Standing Committee was held under Brasseur's chairmanship at the Azerbaijani parliament. Brasseur pointed out in her speech that the respect for the territorial integrity of countries is one of the fundamental principles. Pointing out PACE's 1416 resolution, she said that PACE takes an unequivocal position on the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.
During the meeting, the Chairman of Milli Mejlis, Ogtay Asadov touched upon the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and Azerbaijan's chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.
Azerbaijan's Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov delivered a speech at the meeting in the status of the chairman of the CoE Committee of Ministers.
He briefed the PACE members about Azerbaijan's foreign policy, economic development, the political reforms carried out in the country and the atmosphere of tolerance in Azerbaijan, as well as the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
The minister underscored that the fact of occupation of 20 percent of Azerbaijani territories by Armenia, the problem of over one million Azerbaijani refugees and IDPs, contradict with the fundamental principles and democratic values which form the basis of the Council of Europe and undermines the region's all-round development.
Mammadyarov also had discussions with the PACE members on various international issues. During the discussions, it was emphasized that the occupation of territories of one CoE member state by the other member is unacceptable.