RESOLUTION NEEDED TO SATISFY ALL SIDES IN DISPUTE OVER FOREIGN RADIO STATIONS

December 12th, 2008
“According to the laws in force in Azerbaijan, local frequencies can be granted to local broadcasters only.

Now negotiations are being held to find a solution to the problem to satisfy all sides.” According to “Yeni Musavat” Newspaper, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said this when he was asked a question in connection with the fate of foreign radios during a press conference he held jointly with his colleague Carol Shvarsenberg in Czech Republic.
At the end of October National TV and Radio Council Chairman (NTRC) Nushiravan Maharramli stated that the radio broadcasts of Radio Liberty, Voice of America and the British Broadcasting Company via local frequencies in Azerbaijan will be ceased as of 1 January 2009.
Shvarsenberg answered the question on the basis of the experience in his country. “It is up to the Azerbaijani government to allow the broadcasting of whichever radio station it wants,” he said. “However, I want to note one thing from the point of the experience of my country; BBC radio station is still broadcast in my country. Like Radio Liberty, all of these radios played an important role in the development of democracy and reforms in my country.”