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CAUCASUS > Clinton presses Baku on rights amid violence

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US Secretary of State Clinton (L) urges the government to respect rights. AFP photo

US Secretary of State Clinton (L) urges the government to respect rights. AFP photo

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pressed Azerbaijan yesterday to show greater respect for human rights during her visit to Caspian Sea nation amid an upsurge of violence in the region.

In a roughly five-hour visit, Clinton balanced her concerns about Azerbaijan’s rights record with U.S. interest in its energy resources, making time to meet with activists for a more open government as well as to tour an annual energy trade show. “We ... urge the government to respect their citizens’ right to express (their) views peacefully (and) to release those who have been detained for doing so,” Clinton said after meeting Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. The call came as Azerbaijani forces killed an Armenian soldier in clashes in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, according to Karabakh officials. The incident came after recent killings of five Azerbaijani and three Armenian soldiers in two days. Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement yesterday that they were watching the spread of incidents in to the common border of Azerbaijan and Armenia with deep sadness and concern, Anatolia news agency reported.

Compiled from Reuters, AFP and AA stories by the Daily News staff.

June/07/2012

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