President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received a delegation led by Secretary-General of the Council of Europe Marija Pejcinovic Buric.
President Ilham Aliyev said he was pleased to see Marija Pejcinovic Buric in Azerbaijan as Secretary-General of the Council of Europe and recalled her visit to Azerbaijan in April 2019 as Croatia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, as well as the meetings held during the visit.
The head of state also recalled his time as head of Azerbaijan’s delegation to PACE. President Ilham Aliyev stressed the importance of developing Azerbaijan's cooperation with the Council of Europe based on constructive dialogue, noting that consistent steps have been taken to modernize the country's legal framework within its membership of the Council of Europe.
Expressing her satisfaction with the visit to Azerbaijan, Marija Pejcinovic Buric said that Azerbaijan's membership in the Council of Europe was highly appreciated. The country had joined many conventions, and relevant documents of the Council of Europe within the membership process, and work is still underway in this regard.
During the meeting, it was noted with satisfaction that the Action Program between Azerbaijan and the Council of Europe covering 2022-2025 would be adopted. The sides noted that this program envisaged cooperation in a number of areas.
President Ilham Aliyev updated the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe on the new situation in the region, Azerbaijan's proposals for normalization of relations with Armenia, and the current situation in the liberated territories.
The President noted that 3,890 Azerbaijanis had been missing since the first Armenia-Azerbaijan war and stressed the importance of Armenia’s providing information on the location of Azerbaijani mass graves. The President added that Azerbaijan was suffering significantly due to the problem of mines in the liberated territories, saying that more than 200 people had been killed or injured by landmines since the 10 November 2020 statement. President Ilham Aliyev said that during the 44-day Patriotic War, Azerbaijan had rigorously adhered to the basic principles of international humanitarian law. However, the head of state said that Armenia had committed many war crimes during the war, adding that Armenia had fired rockets at Azerbaijani cities during the military operations, killing more than 100 civilians, including women and children.
President Ilham Aliyev noted that the Council of Europe could also play the role of a platform that could contribute to building confidence between the two countries and the establishment of an integrated South Caucasus region.
The Secretary-General of the Council of Europe praised Azerbaijan's political determination in this area.
Marija Pejcinovic Buric noted that the Council of Europe was ready to play the role of a platform in normalizing relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan and building trust between the two countries' societies.
The sides also exchanged views on other issues of mutual interest.