On, the NGO Council met with the Charge d'Affaires of the US Embassy/Baku Mr. Derek Hogan, Advisor on Foreign Policy Mr. Daniel Slasher and Vice President of the USAID Mr. Robert Lopez.
The Chairperson of the NGO Council Mr. Azay Guliyev informed the guests on the establishment and activities of the Council.
Charge d'Affaires Mr. Derek Hogan brought the issue of the changes made to the NGO law and how it impedes the activities of the NGOs. He also showed his interest in the process of foreign NGO registration by the Ministry of Justice.
Mr. Azay Guliyev stated the long-lasting cooperation among the NGO Council and USAID and SEDA program, along with other NGO funded by the US Government. He noted that the foreign NGOs should follow the law of the Republic of Azerbaijan. All the changes were made in order to create a better and more transparent environment for the civil society. He added with regret that some European and American officials do not consider the legal relevance to the issue and baselessly criticize Azerbaijan.
Mr. Azay Guliyev stated that temporary frozen bank accounts of some NGOs are due to on-going investigation of the law enforcement agencies on the activities of the NGOs. Several pro-government organizations are also in this list, therefore, this issue cannot be considered as political. He added that the commission on the 'Rights and Monitoring' was established to help the NGOs that face difficulties.
Mr. Azay Guliyev said with regret that the representatives of US and some European countries use double standards and are objectiveless towards Azerbaijan. Despite the UN Security Council 4 Resolutions, the US officials made no pressure on Armenia government. On the contrary, they allocated financial support to the separatist region.
Other subjects were discussed during the meeting as well.