Dear President,

On the occasion of Your election, I should wish you every success in your important new tasks. I should like to refer to our longstanding cooperation and re-emphasize the Council of Europe’s commitment to supporting your country in the ongoing process of transition to democracy and full respect for the rule of law and human rights.

Your new high function offers you the opportunity to actively seek a dialogue with all political forces in the country when adhere to democratic values. I count on you to use your role immediately to put an end to the disproportionately violent and oppressive measures currently taken against opposition and media representatives.

The still open question concerning alleged political prisoners continues to cause grave concern to the Parliamentary Assembly, the Committee of Ministers and myself. Finding a satisfactory and sustainable solution to this problem would be a demonstration of your political commitment to bringing Azerbaijan closer to European standards.

Yours sincerely,

Walter Schwimmer,

Secretary General of the Council of Europe

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