2nd Reply to Azerbaijan on OSCE Election Observation Commitments: Statement to the PC

The distinguished Austrian ambassador said better than I could have much that I would have, and so I’ll associate myself with his remarks and just pick up on one aspect.

It seems to me there are two issues to discuss here. One is a very near term, open question, and the other is, as some have pointed out, a longer discussion. And I don’t know how well I understood the statement by our distinguished Azerbaijani colleague, but if it is the case, as our distinguished Austrian colleague said, that there is a misunderstanding that can be clarified so that the observation effort can move forward according to the Needs Assessment Mission, and that can be settled, then I think that would be in the interests of Azerbaijan, and the people of Azerbaijan, and all of us, because it is a commitment that we have made not to ODIHR, but to each other, to invite ODIHR, and to have ODIHR carry out, in the way that it does — many, many times in many, many places — election observation. I think that it would be good to solve that proximate issue. So if it is just a misunderstanding that needs to be clarified, then I would say that the opportunity should be taken if the opportunity still exists, to clarify that misunderstanding as soon as possible so that the observation effort can go forward for the November 1 elections, according to the Needs Assessment Mission’s prescriptions which, as has already been said, were in line with previous Needs Assessment Mission prescriptions.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

As delivered by Ambassador Daniel B. Baer to the Permanent Council, Vienna