Ukraine issue worries all Council of Europe bodies – Azerbaijani FM (UPDATE)

Details added (first version posted on 17:40 )

Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct.2

By Elmira Tariverdiyeva - Trend:

The situation in Ukraine concerns all Council of Europe bodies, said Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov, speaking Oct.2 at the Strasbourg PACE autumn session as the chairman of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.

"I will focus on the most significant developments linked, on the one hand, to the current crisis unfolding in Europe and, on the other hand, the priority areas of our chairmanship," Mammadyarov said.

"Summer 2014 will go down as a particularly dark time for our continent," Mammadyarov said. "Last July, like many political leaders throughout the world, I could not but express, on behalf of the Committee of Ministers, my profound indignation over the crashing of the Malaysia Airlines plane in eastern Ukraine."

The minister said that he called on all the interested parties for an independent investigation, to quickly establish the exact circumstances of the disaster.

In the light of the events happening, the Committee of Ministers has recently adopted a set of important decisions on the situation in Ukraine, said Mammadyarov.

"These decisions are intended firstly to reiterate a number of fundamental principles of international law, in particular the peaceful settlement of disputes and the necessity of respecting states' territorial integrity," the minister said.

"They also aim to assist the establishment of peaceful and sustainable solution to the conflict," Mammadyarov said. "In this regard, the deputies welcomed the protocol signed in Minsk on 5 September 2014, which called on all parties to respect and scrupulously apply the twelve principles laid down in it."

"The Committee of Ministers also sought to provide political support for the efforts made to resolve the crisis: it gave a clear brief to the Secretary General to continue to assist the Ukrainian authorities in carrying out their reforms, and notably in preparing the parliamentary elections to take place on Oct. 26," Mammadyarov said.

"The holding of free and fair elections, in line with international standards throughout the territory of Ukraine, will be an important step in consolidating the democratic progress made by that country and in resolving the conflict," he said. "I am pleased to see that Assembly has decided to send an observer mission and make its own contribution to the smooth running of the elections."

"In the humanitarian field, the Committee of Ministers encouraged the Secretary General to examine how the Council of Europe can address, in co-ordination with other international organisations, the humanitarian needs and the human rights consequences of the military operations in Ukraine," Mammadyarov said.

In particular, he underlined that the people living in Crimea, including the Tatars, must be fully provided with protection in accordance by the European Convention on Human Rights.

"The Committee of Ministers will continue to closely monitor developments in Ukraine," Mammadyarov said.

"In a few weeks' time, on November 13 to be precise, we will hand over the chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers to Belgium but in the meantime we will continue to follow our priorities," the minister said.

"In this respect, the adoption of the Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions by the Committee of Ministers last July is a source of great satisfaction for the Azerbaijani chairmanship. This Convention is very much in keeping with the Council of Europe's long-standing commitment to sports ethics."

It is also a contribution to the fight against corruption, which is one of Azerbaijan's main priorities, Mammadyarov said.

"I am particularly pleased that, at the 13th Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Sport held in Macolin, Switzerland on September 18, no fewer than 15 member States, including my own country, signed the Convention," the minister said. "I hope that the Convention, which is open to both member and non-member states, will quickly secure the number of ratifications required for its entry into force."

"We would wish this could take place before the 2015 European Games in Baku, which have served as one of the reasons of our consistent support to the adoption of this important legal framework," he said.

"The selection of Baku as one of the cities to host the UEFA Euro 2020 matches, will definitely encourage us to continue the promotion of this convention well beyond our chairmanship tenure."

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