The United States is pleased that agreement has been reached with the government of Azerbaijan for the OSCE to maintain its important presence in Baku when the OSCE Office’s current mandate expires at the end of the year.
We joined consensus because we strongly support the important work of the office in assisting Azerbaijan to meet its commitments in all three OSCE dimensions. We are pleased that the office will continue to “support cooperation between the Government of Azerbaijan and the OSCE and its institutions aimed at implementing OSCE principles and commitments.” We welcome the pledge this agreement represents to ensure implementation of commitments in all three OSCE dimensions, including commitments to Azerbaijan’s democratic development. The foundation of any truly democratic state is respect for the rule of law, human rights, and fundamental freedoms, including the freedoms of association, assembly, and expression. We will look to the Government of Azerbaijan to ensure a continued robust OSCE field presence that works in all three dimensions throughout the country and engages with the full spectrum of Azerbaijani society, as provided for in the current and future mandates of the office.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.