Reaction in Baku to the hearing in the U.S. Helsinki Commission

Despite absence  of official reaction to yesterday's hearing of the Helsinki Commission of the U.S. Congress, a number of pro-government officials expressed their attitude.

In particular, members of the Milli Majlis,  Rasim Musabayov  and Asim Mollazade commented on the positive and negative aspects of hearings.

According to Rasim Musabayov, Azerbaijan is not so dependent on the United States , so that  on the results of these proceedings  any serious decisions be taken. As for the statements about the state of democracy and human rights, voiced at the hearing, probably the relevant structures of Azerbaijan will pay attention to it, he said.

Asked about the need for reform, including electoral law, Musabayov said that America itself  needs  reform.

"It would be nice if the committee drew attention to the problems and violations of human rights in the America,"  said Musabayov.

According to him, Azerbaijan  is a young developing states, which should strengthen the state and legal foundations of society. There is a need to protect human rights. First of all, reforms are necessary in the judiciary system, said Musabayov.

With regard to the Commission on the need to bring Electoral legislation in line with OSCE standards,  in America when Bush was in office the OSCE criticized the conduct of elections in Florida.

"Then the OSCE representatives were expelled from polling stations. If they require bringing Azerbaijani legislation to OSCE standards, then let them bring their legislation in compliance. Of course, thanks  for the recommendations, but  do not expect from Azerbaijan to say "yes", said the deputy.

With regard to prisoners of conscience who recognized international organizations, this question must be seriously discussed.

"There is a need to review the cases of those who are prisoners of conscience," - said Musabeyov.

In turn, the head of the party "Democratic Reforms" Mollazade said that the aim of  hearings in the Helsinki Commission  is to strengthen the Azerbaijani-American relations.

"The hearings are necessary for the expansion of multilateral relations. Azerbaijan which is located in a very sensitive region, is a reliable partner of the United States. America is interested in cooperation with Azerbaijan in the field of energy and the economy.

The second area of ​​cooperation is democracy, democratic reform and human rights. In this regard, I support the view of Professor Brenda Shaffer about the possibility of US-Azerbaijan cooperation in the field of democracy, electoral reform, human rights.

"I especially would like to acknowledge Mr. Rubin's statement that the Azerbaijani authorities take counter against Russia.

Azerbaijan is a young state in the field of democracy, human rights and therefore must make the appropriate steps," he said.

Despite the different opinions about the release of prisoners of conscience and complying with the standards of the OSCE electoral legislation of Azerbaijan, these issues need to be seriously considered.

"For example, an opinion was expressed that the activities of religious organizations  are suppressed in Azerbaijan.  A very interesting contrary view is that in the USA these religious organizations are under severe financial control.

In a number of countries, including the United States, NGO funding is part of anti-terrorism legislation," said the deputy.

Mollazade believes it is important that at the hearing indicated lack of results in the settlement of the Karabakh conflict. "The settlement of the conflict should occupy an important place in the US-Azerbaijani cooperation. Fundamental principles of international organizations have been violated  in this conflixct," said Mollazade. -03B04-

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