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CM Mtg with Aliyev 080917OSCE PA President Christine Muttonen (left) meets with President Ilham Aliyev (right) in Baku, 8 September 2017. Photo: Presidential Administration of AzerbaijanBAKU, 8 September 2017 – OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Christine Muttonen (MP, Austria) addressed several pressing issues in meetings today with leaders of Azerbaijan, including President Ilham Aliyev, Speaker of the Milli Majlis Ogtay Asadov, Prime Minister Artur Rasizade, and Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov. Conflict resolution, elections, human rights, and Azerbaijan’s active involvement in the OSCE PA were high on the agenda of the bilateral discussions.

Given the regular violations of the ceasefire resulting in casualties on the Line of Contact, President Muttonen emphasized the urgency of advancing the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process. She noted that a failure to do so would continue to take an unacceptable human toll as well as undermine peace, stability and economic development in the region as a whole.

“Resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict must be a priority for both the international community and local leaders,” she said, noting that she would deliver the same message in Yerevan in the coming months. “There is no alternative to a peaceful political settlement of this conflict.”

Muttonen, who is also expected to meet with civil society representatives in Azerbaijan tomorrow, stressed the value of intercultural and interreligious exchanges as complementary confidence-building measures in conflict resolution. “Increased contacts between civil society in Azerbaijan and Armenia could be a powerful way to reduce tensions and promote co-operation,” she said.

President Muttonen further emphasized the OSCE PA’s support for the mediation efforts by the OSCE Minsk Group as well as the activities of the Personal Representative of the Chairman-in-Office, emphasizing that greater political will and commitment will be required from all parties.

In today’s meetings, President Muttonen also discussed the importance of effective observation of elections by the OSCE and expressed disappointment that this could not occur in recent years. She noted that the OSCE PA stands ready to monitor future elections when possible and expressed the Assembly’s support for efforts at democratic reform.

The President expressed her regret that the OSCE no longer had a full-time presence in the country, but reiterated the Organization’s interest in continued close co-operation.

Meeting today with members of Azerbaijan’s Delegation to the OSCE PA, including Head of Delegation Bahar Muradova and OSCE PA Vice-President Azay Guliyev, the President welcomed the active contribution of Azerbaijani parliamentarians in the Assembly.

Muttonen’s visit to Azerbaijan is her first to the country as OSCE PA President and she noted her hope that the trip signals the Assembly’s strong ongoing commitment to the South Caucasus. Her visit is expected to be followed up with a trip to Armenia in the coming months.

The PA’s Special Representative on the South Caucasus, Bulgarian parliamentarian Kristian Vigenin, is also planning a visit to the region later this month.

Media contact:
Loic Poulain
Presidential Advisor, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly
Mobile: +45 6010 8963
Email: [email protected]