Azerbaijani Politics 14 november — 18:58

Ilham Aliyev hinted at possibility of Azerbaijan withdrawing from Council of Europe

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'Recently, relations between Azerbaijan and the Council of Europe have experienced an artificial crisis. If this crisis deepens, then, of course, Azerbaijan will have the right to make its choice,' said Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, speaking at the solemn jubilee event in connection with the 25th anniversary of the 'Yeni Azərbaycan' Party (New Azerbaijan Party, YAP).

The head of state noted that it is difficult for small countries to pursue an independent foreign policy. At the same time, Ilham Aliyev added that Azerbaijan will continue to actively participate in international organisations.

'The non-aligned movement and the OIC are our main priority. For over 15 years we have been an active member of the Council of Europe (CoE). A large number of events were held through this organisation. But as a result of the activities of the secretary-general of the Council of Europe, the relations of this structure with Azerbaijan have experienced an artificial crisis, whose initiators are not us.

We simply take adequate measures in connection with a two-faced and unfair policy against us. We never left unattended attacks directed against us. Therefore, I believe that our adequate response was given in a timely manner. I believe that, in general, such a well-known international organisation as the Council of Europe should not become a victim of the unsuccessful ambitions of an individual person. I hope that questions in connection with this organisation will also be resolved. We want this, we hope for it.

If this crisis deepens, then, of course, Azerbaijan will have the right to make its choice. We voluntarily joined all organisations of which we are members. Also voluntarily we can get out of them. No one can forcibly compel us to stay in any organisation,' said the Azerbaijani president.

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