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Azerbaijan

EU President Urges Azerbaijan To Improve Rights Record

President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy during a press conference in the Azerbaijani capital, Baku, on July 5
President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy during a press conference in the Azerbaijani capital, Baku, on July 5
EU President Herman van Rompuy has called on the government of Azerbaijan to improve civil and political rights in that oil-rich former Soviet republic.

Van Rompuy said on July 5 that the European Union is interested in "a stable, progressive, and tolerant Azerbaijan."

He welcomed the release last week of nine opposition supporters jailed for participating in a rally in 2011, saying more such steps were needed.

He made the comments following talks with President Ilham Aliyev in Baku.

Van Rompuy also called on Azerbaijan and Armenia to avoid further violence in their long-running dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh, a predominantly ethnic Armenian enclave within Azerbaijan.

Based on reporting by AFP and ITAR-TASS
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by: Donald Marckos from: New York, New York
July 10, 2012 19:13
I agree that Azerbaijan has to focus on human and political rights if it wants to stay in step with other civilized European nations, but I wonder how likely that is to happen under current leadership. For instance, take Samir Sharifov, the Minister of Finance in Azerbaijan, he has taken bribes and kickbacks from AID funds. That is not very “stable and progressive.”

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