BAKU: Azerbaijan, Armenia reach broadcasting accord

Azad Azarbaycan TV, Baku, in Azeri
9 Mar 04

Azerbaijan, Armenia reach broadcasting accord

[Presenter] The Azerbaijani Communications and Information Technology
Ministry has taken an important step to prevent the broadcast of
Armenian TV stations in Azerbaijan. The Armenian TV stations, which
conduct anti-Azerbaijani propaganda in western districts of
Azerbaijan, have agreed to stop their broadcasts.

[Correspondent] Starting from today [9 March], Armenian TV will stop
its illegal broadcasts in Qazax. Agstafa and Tovuz districts. The
Azerbaijani and Armenian ministries of communications signed a
protocol on this during talks in Moscow which were mediated by
Russia. Under the protocol Armenia will stop broadcasting on
Azerbaijan’s channels No 22, 23 and 27.

However, this will not stop completely Armenian TV stations’ invasion
of Azerbaijan. Since the talks concerned only broadcasts from
Armenia, the use of the radio transmitting station in Susa was not
discussed, Qulam Abdullayev, senior expert of the communications
ministry, has said.

[Qulam Abdullayev] The station in Susa is internationally listed as
Azerbaijan’s. Hence, we only demanded that measures related to
Armenia-based stations be taken. We did not discuss Nagornyy Karabakh
with them at all.

[Correspondent] Whether the protocol is abided by, will be verified
through monitoring. Should Armenia breach the terms of the agreement,
the issue will first be raised in a meeting of the regional
communications body, and later, with the International
Telecommunications Union [ITU].

Incidentally, another complaint may be lodged in the ITU regarding
Iranian TV stations. In order to avert this, Iran’s TV channels have
to stop illegal broadcast in Azerbaijan.

[Abdullayev] Iran is not a member of the regional communications
body, but it is a member of the ITU. Iran has submitted its list to
the ITU and this issue will be raised with the ITU.

[Correspondent] Abdullayev said that Azerbaijan will conduct talks
with Iran. The Azerbaijani ministry intends to purchase new and
powerful equipment to completely resolve the issue. The ministry will
soon submit to the government a state programme it has drafted to
raise funds for this.