March 31
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President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev hinted at his readiness to break relations with the Council of Europe.

Duirng a meeting with a delegation of the Political and Security Committee of the EU Council, Aliyev assured that , public opinion related to the Council of Europe is not so positive

"Firstly, when we joined this organization, our expectations were related to the fact that it will help us in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. However, the Council of Europe did not succeed in this matter, this case did not work, and it will not work. Secondly, at the beginning of our membership I was the first head of our delegation. At that time, I was a member of the Azerbaijani parliament and in 2001-2003 led the Azerbaijani delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. That is, I know what this organization is and how it relates to Azerbaijan. The attitude was extremely negative. We joined this organization on the same day as Armenia and compared the extremely negative attitude towards Azerbaijan with a positive attitude towards Armenia,” he said.

Speaking about criticism of the Council of Europe, Aliyev said Azerbaijan’s priority is the EU.

“Azerbaijan leaves the Council of Europe, nothing will change in our life,” he added.

The Council of Europe is considering sanctions against Azerbaijan, up to elimination of the country’s membership in the organization because of failure to implement the European Court’s judgment on political prisoners. Despite Aliyev’s assurances, the talks between Azerbaijan and EU slowed down as well.

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