Liechtenstein Cautions Over Restoring Voting Rights for Azerbaijan at PACE

Some media reports claimed Dominique Hasler, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Education, and Sport of Liechtenstein, current President of the Committee of Ministers, stated discussions are underway for the potential restoration of voting rights for Azerbaijan at PACE. pace.coe.int

 

April 25, 2024

In the midst of ongoing deliberations regarding the restoration of voting rights for the Azerbaijani delegation at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), the Liechtenstein Presidency has emphasized the need for a cautious and sensitive approach.

Responding to queries from The Herald, Helen Lorez-Schweig, Counsellor and Deputy Permanent Representative of Liechtenstein to the Council of Europe, underscored the complexity of the matter. “The discussions on the credentials of the delegation of Azerbaijan lie within the competences of the Parliamentary Assembly,” she stated. While acknowledging the involvement of the Committee of Ministers in previous discussions, Lorez-Schweig emphasized their reluctance to interfere in what she described as a “sensitive process.”

Concerns have been raised regarding alleged human rights violations in Azerbaijan, prompting questions about the factors being considered in these deliberations. However, Lorez-Schweig clarified that the Committee of Ministers is not actively engaged in discussions between PACE and Azerbaijani authorities, thus unable to provide specific insights.

In light of the continued reports of alleged human rights violations, questions have been raised regarding whether any observable improvements warrant the restoration of voting rights for the Azerbaijani delegation. Lorez-Schweig acknowledged the longstanding cooperation between Azerbaijan and the Council of Europe since the former’s accession in 2001. She highlighted the necessity of serious improvements and reforms to ensure full compliance with commitments, particularly in safeguarding the rights of human rights defenders, journalists, and political activists.

Despite the challenges, Liechtenstein reiterated its commitment to supporting Azerbaijan in fulfilling its obligations as a member state of the Council of Europe. Lorez-Schweig emphasized the importance of restoring cooperation between Azerbaijan and the Council of Europe to uphold fundamental values of human rights, democracy, and the rule of law.

The Liechtenstein Presidency affirmed that reinforcing these core values remains a top priority during their tenure, urging all parties involved to handle the delicate matter with diligence and care.

For now, the discussions regarding the restoration of voting rights for the Azerbaijani delegation at PACE continue, amidst a backdrop of human rights concerns and diplomatic intricacies.

Inquiry by The Azeri Herald has been initiated following media reports alleging discussions underway to restore Azerbaijani delegation voting rights at PACE, quoting Dominique Hasler, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Education, and Sport of Liechtenstein, current President of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.

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