Reply to Azerbaijan on Freedom of Expression Concerns in Azerbaijan | Statement to the PC

I just would like to express my regret at the interpretation that our distinguished Azerbaijani colleague puts on my delegation’s raising our genuinely held concerns. I don’t think that it is accurate to say that there is a permanent focus on any particularly participating State, but rather that we consistently try to use the common yardstick that we all have – which is our principles and commitments – and we express concerns when we see those concerns as warranted by the facts on the ground. Our statement today was generated both with colleagues in Washington, Baku, and Vienna, and it was an attempt to put in a sober and straightforward fashion our concerns with current developments, and we will continue to do that, and we will continue to do that in a spirit of genuine partnership with the people of Azerbaijan and the government of Azerbaijan, which is a longstanding commitment of the United States, and I think that partnership is evidenced by many years of interaction.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

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