Summer of 2014 ‘a dark time’ for Europe, says Committee of Ministers chair

“The summer of 2014 will go down as a particularly dark time for our continent,” Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov told parliamentarians today, addressing the Assembly as the current chairperson of the Council of Europe’s executive body, the Committee of Ministers.

Reporting on the activities of Azerbaijan’s chairmanship, Mr Mammadyarov said the situation in Ukraine “remains at the heart of the current concerns of all Council of Europe bodies”.

He reiterated the Committee of Ministers’ insistence that member States should settle disputes peacefully while respecting the territorial integrity of other states. He once again called for a peaceful and sustainable solution to the conflict, underlining the contribution the Council of Europe could make to helping Ukraine meet its human rights and humanitarian needs, as well as carrying forward the necessary democratic reforms.

The Foreign Minister listed the many activities his government had undertaken, including a number of conferences in Baku, that had helped to carry forward the priorities of Azerbaijan’s Chairmanship.

“The Council of Europe has a mission to help all our countries along the path to democracy and human rights,” Mr Mammadyarov concluded. “I am convinced that, to accomplish this task, it is vital that your Assembly and our Committee continue to work in close collaboration.”