Hollande Visits Azerbaijan

During his visit to Azerbaijan the President of France Francois Hollande met with opposition leaders and representatives of civil society and media.

On May 12, during his visit to Azerbaijan the President of France Francois Hollande met with opposition leaders and representatives of civil society and media. Chairman of the Azerbaijan Popular Front Party, Ali Karimli, Musavat Party leader, Isa Gambar, assembly president of the REAL movement, Erkin Gadirli, director of the Institute for Peace and Democracy, Leyla Yunus, director of Turan News Agency, Mehman Aliyev and investigative journalist, Khadija Ismail participated in the meeting.

In her interview to Meydan TV Mrs. Yunus mentioned that they have informed President Hollande on Azerbaijan’s human rights record, the number of political prisoners in the Council of Europe member state and intensified political repressions: “The president agreed with our views.”

Leyla Yunus also mentioned that he was aware of the government pressure on her personally: “He was already informed about it in details. I am satisfied with the meeting, yet not sure whether it is going to have any impact or not.”

Mr. Aliyev told Meydan TV that they have informed the President Hollande on developments in democracy, freedom of speech, elections fraud, political prisoners, freedom of assembly, corruption and restrictions on the political parties’ activities.

Mr. Aliyev said that the overall impression from the meeting was that President Hollande seemed already well prepared to his visit to Azerbaijan: “From the way President reacted as we spoke, it became clear he was aware of the situation. He stated that the issues were on the agenda, already discussed and now they would try to solve the problems as Azerbaijan is to chair the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers. Mr. Hollande is also aware of the municipality elections to be held in December, and expects the process to be democratic. Overall, he stated his willingness of his country’s deeper impact on development of democracy in Azerbaijan.”

Mr. Aliyev commented on the Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev’s claim during the briefing with the French President that no one in Azerbaijan is a subject to political prosecution: “Ilham Aliyev always mentions that there are no political prisoners in the country and that the media is free. It is hard to understand the reasons behind his claims.” Mr. Aliyev doesn’t believe in immediate changes to take place in Azerbaijan: “Ilham Aliyev’s comments that “measures are/will be taken” show that these issues are being seriously discussed. Therefore, certain changes might be coming and we can expect amnesty on May 28 might. Some other measures might be taken as well, but overall, I am not expecting the situation to change in the nearest future.”

Journalist, Khadija Ismail shared her comments on the meeting on her Facebook page: “I asked the President of France whether he files declaration of property or not. He said ‘Of course.’ To what I replied, well, President Aliyev does not.”

Ana səhifəNewsHollande Visits Azerbaijan