Reply to Azerbaijan

Together with France and Russia, the United States intends to continue working through the Minsk Group as the primary channel for resolving this conflict and upholding a common commitment to peace and security in Nagorno-Karabakh.
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Response to Altai Efendiev, Secretary General of the Organization for Democracy and Economic Development

We share the concerns of Organization for Democracy and Economic Development member states about the active and protracted conflicts in this region, and are deeply concerned by continuing violations of member states’ sovereignty and territorial integrity.
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Ambassador Haley’s Remarks to the UN Security Council on Conflicts in Europe

The OSCE is playing a crucial role observing and monitoring the situation in eastern Ukraine. U.S. bonds with NATO and the OSCE have stood the test of time. These are institutions that bring together partners on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean to defend our shared ideals.
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Statement on Office in Yerevan

We are very concerned by the situation regarding the OSCE Office in Yerevan. This office, like all OSCE field missions and institutions, is an important element of the work done by this organization to assist participating states with the implementation of their OSCE commitments. Should the Office in Yerevan be forced to close, this will ...
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Secretary of State John Kerry at the Opening Session of the OSCE Ministerial | Statement to the 2016 Ministerial Council

Friends and colleagues, we meet in Hamburg today to reaffirm the same idea that tied us together in Helsinki 41 years ago: that our collective security is directly linked to the growth of our economies and the protection of basic human rights.
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Response to Minsk Group Co-Chairs, CiO Personal Rep. and HLPG | Statement to the PC

The United States warmly welcomes the Co-Chairs of the Minsk Group, together with the Chairmanship’s Personal Representative, and the Head of the High-Level Planning Group (HLPG), to the Permanent Council. We reiterate our strong support for their work and appreciate their unwavering engagement with the sides to advance a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. ...
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On the Unjust Sentencing of Giyas Ibrahimov in Azerbaijan | Statement to the PC

The United States is troubled by the October 25 decision of an Azerbaijani court to sentence N!DA activist Giyas Ibrahimov to ten years in prison on charges of drug possession in what is widely considered to be politically motivated prosecution.  Amnesty International reported that while in custody Mr. Ibrahimov was tortured into confessing to a ...
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On International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists | Statement to the PC

My delegation strongly supports the statement of our European Union colleagues marking the United Nations-declared International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists. To do its job, a free press needs protection from violence and intimidation. In too many places around the world, those who threaten, kidnap, beat, and kill journalists do so with ...
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Response to Peter Maurer, International Committee of the Red Cross President | Statement to the PC

I would like to start by expressing our sincere gratitude to President Maurer for his remarks and thoughtful recommendations on behalf of the International Committee of the Red Cross. We first met in Washington several years ago in our previous capacities. It has been a real pleasure to see you and your success in your ...
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Closing Remarks | Statement at the Closing Plenary of HDIM 2016

As the 2016 HDIM draws to a close, my delegation wishes to share some observations that will shape our approach to the OSCE Ministerial in Hamburg. First: Helsinki Final Act Principles linking respect for human rights within states to lasting security among states could not be more relevant. These foundational principles are under siege and ...
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Some OSCE Governments Are Revealing Their Weakness

No confident government would be frightened by a human rights defender. So what do crackdowns on activists by certain OSCE governments tell us? At the 2016 HDIM, taking place now in Warsaw , we’ve been speaking out against what we call the ‘shrinking space’ for civil society in many parts of the OSCE region. Civil society activists perform a vital role in ...
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Freedom of Movement | Statement at Working Session 13 of HDIM 2016

In Vienna in 1989, all participating States committed to, “respect the right of everyone to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each State, and to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.” This right is still not fully respected in all participating States. Let me make it ...
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Ambassador Baer’s Interview with VOA Azerbaijan Service September 27, 2016

QUESTION:  Recently President Aliyev accused you of being mainly responsible for the closure of the OSCE office in Baku.  How would you comment on these statements? AMBASSADOR BAER:  I was surprised to see that President Aliyev was talking about me.  His claim is not supported by the facts.  Unfortunately, the reason why the OSCE office ...
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Freedom of Thought, Conscience, Religion or Belief | Statement at Working Session 12 of HDIM 2016

Freedom of religion or belief is a founding principle of the Helsinki Process. Unfortunately, a small number of participating States engage in consistent, systematic violations and abuses of the freedom of religion or belief.
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Freedom of Expression, Information, and Media Freedom | Statement at Working Session 6 of HDIM 2016

In establishing the Representative on Freedom of the Media in 1997, the OSCE participating States recognized that “free, independent, and pluralistic media are essential to a free and open society and accountable systems of government.”
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Freedom of Association and Peaceful Assembly | Statement at Working Session 5 of HDIM 2016

Freedom of association is necessary for the fullest exercise of the freedoms of expression and of religion or belief, and for the conduct of free and fair elections. It is a cornerstone for the rights of persons seeking to form independent trade unions.
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Democratic Institutions | Right of Reply at Working Session 1 of HDIM 2016

We would like to exercise our right of reply regarding the statements of the Azerbaijan Citizen Labor Rights Protection League. The gentleman implied that U.S. civil society is unable to do shadow reports on U.S. human rights performance. Nothing could be further from the truth, as those who monitor the activities of our independent civil ...
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Democratic Institutions | Statement at Working Session 1 of HDIM 2016

Elections are an essential element of democracy and a cornerstone of democratic institutions. The U.S. greatly appreciates the OSCE’s invaluable role in election observation – indeed, this organization has developed what is known as the “gold standard” for its methodology on evaluating elections.
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Ongoing Concerns About the Freedoms of Expression and Media in Azerbaijan | Statement to the PC

At the Copenhagen meeting in 1990, participating States affirmed that “everyone will have the right to freedom of expression including the right to communication. This right will include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.” Twenty years later at the Astana ...
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Reply to Azerbaijan on Nagorno-Karabakh | Statement to the PC

Thank you to our distinguished colleague from Azerbaijan for raising his delegation’s concerns. There are US companies that are currently providing goods and services in Nagorno Karabakh and in the neighboring territories. In some cases these are resellers of goods purchased elsewhere and resold in Nagorno Karabakh, in other cases goods and services are being ...
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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 ...
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Response to OSCE Special Rep. for the South Caucasus Günther Bächler: Statement to the PC

Before beginning let me just say that the statement we just heard from our distinguished Russian colleague reminded me of our Ukrainian colleague’s statement last week that hearing the Russian Federation’s position about Georgia should encourage all of us to have a bit more sympathy for the concerns that the Ukrainian government and people have ...
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On the Release of Khadija Ismayilova: Statement to the PC

The United States welcomes the decision of the Azerbaijani Supreme Court to release investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova on a suspended sentence. We view this as a positive step, and we encourage the Azerbaijani government to drop all remaining charges against her. Protecting freedom of expression and expanding the space for civic and political participation will ...
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Response to the Address by the Deputy Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan: Statement to the PC

The United States welcomes Deputy Minister Azimov to the OSCE Permanent Council. Your appearance here today signals Azerbaijan’s interest in contributing to the Organization’s comprehensive approach to security, and to upholding our common principles and commitments. At the outset, let me underscore that the United States believes efforts in support of resolving the protracted conflicts ...
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On the Minsk Group Co-Chairs: Statement to the PC

The United States attaches great importance to the work of the Minsk Group Co-Chairs. We value their efforts to advance a peaceful and lasting settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, by speaking with one voice, and in dialogue with all Minsk Group members. We note recent statements that have called into question Turkey’s constructiveness as a ...
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Release from Prison of Arif Yunus in Azerbaijan: Statement to the PC

The United States views the November 12 decision by the Baku Court of Appeals to transfer peace activist and historian Arif Yunus from prison to house arrest on humanitarian grounds as a positive step. We hope the Azerbaijani government will give similar consideration to other prisoners reportedly facing severe health challenges. We call on the ...
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Response to Minsk Group Co-Chairs, Personal Rep. of CiO, and HLPG Head: Statement to the PC

The United States warmly welcomes the  three Co-Chairs of the Minsk Group , together with the Chairmanship’s Personal Representative, as well as the Head of the High-Level Planning Group, to the Permanent Council. We reiterate our strong support for their work and appreciate their continued engagement with the sides to advance a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The United States ...
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Azerbaijan’s Parliamentary Elections: Statement to the PC

The United States notes that Azerbaijan held parliamentary elections on November 1. We regret that the government of Azerbaijan did not allow the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) to field its necessary number of observers, and therefore ODIHR was not able to monitor the elections. Without ODIHR participation, it is impossible ...
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Reply to Russia and Azerbaijan on ODIHR Director’s Follow-up to the 2015 HDIM: Statement to the PC

I think it’s important to recognize that ODIHR does us a service by organizing the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting, by facilitating it, by setting up the sessions, by making sure that there are note takers, and all the rest of it; if there are criticisms of the way certain actors around the table behave, those ...
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Reply to Azerbaijan on ODIHR’s Election Observation Mandate: Statement to the PC

The United States deeply regrets that Azerbaijan has decided once again to raise this issue. The director of ODIHR has not violated his mandate. Azerbaijan has regrettably sought to interfere with and restrict ODIHR in the exercise of its mandate, and this has resulted in the regrettable situation where the kind of credible and robust ...
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Reply to Azerbaijan on ODIHR and the 2016 Unified Budget Proposal: Statement to the PC

Because our distinguished colleague from Azerbaijan alleged that we have collectively failed to respond to Azerbaijan’s allegations against Director Link, I wanted to take a moment to answer that allegation. First, I agree with our distinguished Azerbaijani colleague that ODIHR’s cancellation of observation efforts for the upcoming parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan is regrettable. But it’s ...
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Reply to Azerbaijan on ODIHR Election Observation: Statement to the PC

I wanted to just respond to some of the comments made by our distinguished Azerbaijani colleague, as well as by the European Union. I recall the ambassador of Norway’s point of a few minutes ago that this seems an odd conversation – and particularly this conversation, which is about a personal accusation leveled at the ...
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Reply to Azerbaijan on the Situation in Nagorno-Karabakh: Statement to the PC

I listened carefully to the statements by our distinguished Armenian colleague in the previous item, and then our distinguished Azerbaijani colleague in this item, and I just wanted to respond to a couple of the direct questions that were raised by the distinguished Azerbaijani ambassador. There were several questions, but I think they centered on ...
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Response to Azerbaijan on OSCE Election Observation Commitments: Statement to the PC

We regret that ODIHR will not be observing parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan on November 1. In a September 1 press statement, Azerbaijan called ODIHR’s intention to deploy 30 long-term and 300 short-term observers “excessive” for Azerbaijan’s November 1 parliamentary election. The statement said that Azerbaijan was “ready to welcome” only six long-term and up to ...
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Concerns about the Constriction of Freedom of Expression in Azerbaijan: Statement to the PC

The United States is deeply troubled by Tuesday’s decision by an Azerbaijani court to sentence prominent investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova to seven-and-a-half years in prison. We are further concerned by reports of irregularities during the investigation and trial, including the apparent exclusion of witness testimony and other key evidence. This case is another example in ...
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Reply to Azerbaijan Regarding Implementation of OSCE Commitments: Statement to the PC

I wanted to respond to a couple of points. I won’t repeat the point I made earlier about responding to concerns with accusations which I think doesn’t make for a strong response. But I would say that it also applies here. I just wanted to clarify two things, though. First, I wholeheartedly agree with our ...
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Reply to Azerbaijan on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in Azerbaijan: Statement to the PC

I’d like to thank our distinguished Azerbaijani colleague for his response. I just wanted to address a couple of points that he raised. First, the idea that this is “just a few cases”: I think part of the concern that was raised – not only by my delegation but also by others – is that ...
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Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in Azerbaijan: Statement to the PC

The United States is deeply troubled by the decision of an Azerbaijani court to sentence human rights and peace advocates Leyla and Arif Yunus, who have been detained for more than a year, to eight-and-a-half and seven-year prison terms, respectively. Their convictions appear to be solely connected with their human rights work and participation in ...
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ASRC 2015, Working Session 1: Early warning, conflict prevention, crisis management

Early warning, conflict prevention, crisis management, conflict resolution and post-conflict rehabilitation: lessons learned and the way ahead Let me begin by expressing my government’s concern over the failure again this year to include on today’s agenda specific reference to the existing protracted conflicts affecting Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. These real conflicts in this region ...
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On the closure of the Project Coordinator’s Office in Baku: Statement to the PC

We appreciate the Chairmanship calling this special meeting of the Permanent Council to discuss recent developments related to the Project Coordinator’s Office in Azerbaijan (PCU). I found much to agree with in the statements of the European Union and of Canada, but I would like to add a few additional points. Last Friday we learned ...
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Replies to Azerbaijan on the closure of the Project Coordinator’s Office in Baku: Statement to the PC

I just wanted to respond to a couple of the comments made by the distinguished Azerbaijani ambassador. First is a point that applies not only to this meeting but to a number of the meetings that we have. Obviously our organization has a decision-making principle of consensus which governs almost all of our decisions, which ...
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The U.S. is a strong supporter of GUAM’s valuable work: Statement to the PC

The United States welcomes you to the Permanent Council, Secretary General Valeri Chechelashvili, and we thank you for your presentation today. The United States is a strong supporter of the Organization for Democracy and Economic Development – GUAM — and the valuable work of the Organization in promoting deeper economic links among its member states ...
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On the Conviction of Rasul Jafarov in Azerbaijan: Statement to the PC

The United States is deeply troubled by the April 16 decision of an Azerbaijani court to sentence prominent human rights activist Rasul Jafarov to six and a half years in prison on charges widely considered to be politically motivated. As founder and chairman of the Human Rights Club, Mr. Jafarov was arrested last August as ...
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On Missing Persons in the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict and the Work of the Minsk Group Co-Chairs: Statement to the PC

The United States commends the commitment made by the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan at the Paris Summit to exchange data on missing persons from the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, under the auspices of the International Committee of the Red Cross. We encourage the sides to take concrete steps to implement this exchange and to consider other ...
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