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Azerbaijan – a country having great importance not only to Europe, EP member

10.10.2013

Azerbaijan, the country that has great importance not only to Europe including Italy and not only because of economic ties but also in the light of energy security, European Parliament`s observer, vice-president of the committee on foreign affairs Fiorello Provera told a press conference at the Independent Press Center.

"Our mission has visited all the polling stations, namely 18, which it wanted to visit, without facing any obstacles,” Provera said.

The EP mission noted the development of the election system in comparison with previous years, he said. The mission, according to him, noted the calm atmosphere of elections and did not record any irregularities and complaints. Therefore, the elections were held freely and fairly.

The goal of the EP mission was to monitor the election process without releasing any conclusions on the political situation within the country, he said.

"The candidates had equal conditions. I know that there is difference between opinion of the EP and that of Council of Europe and ODIHR. Everyone has the right to express his opinion and everyone is responsible for his own point of view,” Provera said.

No one must demand perfect democracy from anyone as it does not exist anywhere.

"The goal of the EU member countries is to help Baku develop stage by stage, step by step but as friends not as judges. We have to encourage Azerbaijan as a partner. I want to say in response to the critics who talk about crackdown on journalists that there are four journalists in Italy who were accused of defamation. One of them is aged above 70. The second critical moment is the lack of female presidential candidate. However, the USA where there has never been a female president is the striking example for the lack of women candidates,” he said.

"Azerbaijan has been an independent state for just 20 years, and we must help you in developing democracy,” Provera noted.

Over 20 percent of Azerbaijani lands are occupied, and this situation cannot be considered normal. I urge the European countries to help Azerbaijan to solve this problem since the country cannot develop fully without its resolution, Provera noted.

"I want to underline that the Armenian lobbyist policy is very rife and helps national interests of Armenia very much. Therefore, Azerbaijan needs to strengthen its lobbying efforts in European countries,” he said.