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Azerbaijan officially takes over chairmanship of Council of Europe Committee of Ministers

Azerbaijan has today officially taken over from Austria the Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers for a period of six months.

Vienna-hosted 124th Session of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe saw Azerbaijan assume the chairmanship of the Council, becoming another important millstone for the Azerbaijani diplomacy following the country`s two-year membership of the UN Security Council.

Azerbaijan for the first time chairs the Committee of Ministers since it joined the Council of Europe in January, 2001. And it`s very remarkable for Azerbaijan, which is successfully moving forward on the path towards European integration, improving its democratic image and making its own contribution to European values.

Azerbaijan`s assuming the chairmanship of the Council in such a short period of time after becoming a Council of Europe member is no coincidence. If 13 years ago Azerbaijan was just eager to build relations with Europe, today thanks to its wise foreign policy the country has become a reliable partner on the international scene. It is evidenced by Azerbaijan`s election to the UN Security Council voted by 155 countries in 2011.

Azerbaijan has built close relations with the Council of Europe and been committed to its obligations. At the Vienna Session, Azerbaijan laid out the priorities of its chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers.

Over the next six months, the country will render its strong support and invest its efforts around three key pillars of the Council of Europe - human rights, rule of law and democracy. Upholding and promoting core values of the Council of Europe will be at the center of Azerbaijan`s activities and undertakings during this period.

Azerbaijan will pay close attention to existing challenges to democracy, security and stability in Europe to ensure prompt and resolute response by Member States. In doing so, the Chairmanship of Azerbaijan will seek consensual decisions in the spirit of compromise, through reinforced dialogue, mutual respect and understanding.

And there are no doubts that Azerbaijan will achieve all the goals it set during its tenure at the Council. The country`s successful activities as a UN Security Council member support this thesis.

In his message marking Azerbaijan`s election to the UN Security Council, President Ilham Aliyev vowed the country would be committed to protecting justice and international law. And Azerbaijan kept its promise.

So Azerbaijan`s UN Security Council membership and its determined efforts and political will to achieve the goals set make it certain that the country`s six-month chairmanship of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers, which officially starts on May 14, will be a success story too.