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Hon. Benjamin L. Cardin, Chairman
Hon. Christopher H. Smith, Co-Chairman
For Immediate Release
June 4, 2014


U.S. Helsinki Commission to hold hearing on Azerbaijan 

(Washington, DC) Today the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) announced the following hearing:

The Security, Economic and Human Rights Dimensions of US-Azerbaijan Relations

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

10:00 am

Room 432 of the Russell Senate Office Building

The Republic of Azerbaijan has been an ally of the United States since its independence in 1991. It is a supplier of energy to Europe and has played an important role in assisting the U.S. and the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan through the contribution of troops and as a conduit for the Northern Distribution Network. Azerbaijan is a participating State in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and in May it assumed the rotating chairmanship of the Council of Europe (COE). Despite membership in both of Europe’s leading human rights institutions, Azerbaijan has been consistently criticized for its undemocratic elections and its use of the judicial system to punish political opponents.

As the U.S. Helsinki Commission prepares to attend the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Annual Session in Baku at the end of June, this hearing will examine the U.S.-Azerbaijan relationship and the impact of regional and domestic issues in Azerbaijan on that relationship.

The following witnesses are scheduled to testify:

Tom Melia, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Department of State

Eric Rubin, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, Department of State

Miriam Lanskoy, Director for Russia and Eurasia, National Endowment for Democracy

Brenda Shaffer, Visiting Researcher, Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies, Georgetown University

Media Contact: Shelly Han
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