Military aid to Azerbaijan to guarantee Caspian security – US official
Trend news agency
13 Mar 04
Trend correspondent S. Agayeva: As a co-chairman of the OSCE Minsk
Group for the Nagornyy Karabakh settlement, the USA cannot take
anyone’s side in the conflict, and it is impossible to use US military
aid in the conflict, Trend news agency has quoted US Assistant
Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Elizabeth Jones
Jones said that US military aid to Azerbaijan is to guarantee the
security of the Caspian Sea. “There is a danger today that the Caspian
Sea may turn into a transit area for terrorists, a route for the
transportation of materials to produce weapons of mass destruction and
other transnational threats. We have to increase the possibilities of
Azerbaijani marine border guards to carry out a struggle against these
threats,” she said.
According to Jones, the modernization of an Azerbaijani air base,
which is used by US aircraft for flights to Afghanistan, is another
purpose of military aid. All this is to help the USA’s fight against
terrorism, she added.
Jones believes that Armenia should not protest against military aid to
Azerbaijan. “Neither Armenia, Russia nor any other regional state
wants the Caucasus to be used for helping terrorists,” she said.
The US Department of State proposes to the Congress to allocate 8m
dollars to Azerbaijan and 2m dollars to Armenia as military aid in the
fiscal year 2004.