BAKU: Senior US official to Azerbaijan with “concrete” proposals

Senior US official comes to Azerbaijan with “concrete” proposals, analyst

Sarq, Baku
16 Mar 04

US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage is expected to visit the
South Caucasus countries in a few days. The US official is also
expected to hold talks with the presidents of the three countries of
the region during his visit. It is also said that the goal of the
visit is to discuss bilateral relations and regional problems.

This visit by Armitage can be assessed as yet another step by the West
and the USA which have recently increased their interest in the

The director of the Centre of Political Innovations and Technologies,
political analyst Mubariz Ahmadoglu, thinks that the major goal of the
US official’s visit to the region has to do with Azerbaijan.

“There is an issue that the USA has always kept in the focus of
attention. At the moment it is the settlement of all regional
conflicts. Apart from the conflicts in Georgia and Azerbaijan, the USA
is also interested in regional integration. There are almost no
uncertainties in Georgian-US relations. What is not certain is that it
is difficult to predict [Georgian President Mikheil] Saakashvili’s
steps. But this is not of great concern for the USA. So, Georgia is
not a problem,” Ahmadoglu said.

He said that interestingly, ahead of Armitage’s visit, US officials
had made several statements in connection with the settlement of the
Nagornyy Karabakh conflict. Thus, it cannot be ruled out that Richard
Armitage will address regional leaders, in particular the Azerbaijani
and Armenian presidents, with concrete proposals on the settlement of
this problem.

“He will also try to get more precise answers to his proposals from
the sides,” Ahmadoglu said.

[Passage omitted: there might be other proposals on regional

Ahmadoglu believes that the USA is interested in the strengthening of
Azerbaijan. “There can be statements on human rights and
democracy. But the USA accepts the incumbent authorities. The White
House will boost both economic and geopolitical and military
cooperation with Azerbaijan,” the analyst said.