BAKU: Aliyev received US 1st deputy secretary of state Armitage

Azer Tag, Azerbaijan State Info Agency
March 27 2004


[March 27, 2004, 16:17:19]

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev received at the
President Palace the United States First Deputy Secretary of State
Richard Armitage and his entourage on 27 March.

Greeting the esteemed guests, head of the Azerbaijani state said that
the relations between America and Azerbaijan develop intensively. The
countries are very closely cooperating in numerous fields. With the
support of the United States, large-scale energy projects of world
importance are being realized in Azerbaijan. Construction of the
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline successfully goes ahead, and this is
not secret for anybody that without support of the American
governments the Project could not be implemented.

Noting that the US Government renders huge assistance to the Country
in conducting of economic reforms and he hopes for boosting by the
United States of the current socio-economic development program,
President Ilham Aliyev emphasized that the two countries are well
cooperating in the military sphere, too. We are confident that this
cooperation will strengthen much more in the years ahead. Azerbaijan
allied to the United States in anti-terror combat. We are allies and
this policy will be continued in the coming years. All these show
that our countries are successfully cooperating and this will deepen
in the future.

Noting that security issues are very important, President Ilham
Aliyev confidently underlined that the peace would soon be
established in the region. But the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorny
Karabakh conflict greatly threatens this safety. We hope, the OSCE
Minsk Group will play positive role in settlement of this conflict,
Azerbaijan’s lands will be liberated from occupation, all the
international legal norms will be confirmed and territorial integrity
of our Country will be preserved. I appreciate your visit to
Azerbaijan and I am convinced that the relations between us, between
our countries will reach a higher level, President of Azerbaijan

Expressing his gratitude for sincere reception and stressing that he
is not able to express his pleasure with the visit to Baku, the US
First Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, addressing the head
of Azerbaijani state said: `Mr. President, I would like to express
my thanks to You and the people of Azerbaijan for support of my
Country in the anti-terror combat, and that you are ally to us and
take part in the joint operations. In particular, I would like to
note courageous service of the Azerbaijani militaries. They render us
assistance in Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, our goal, our intention
is to reach higher level of cooperation and that this cooperation
should cover economic, political, military, social and other spheres
as well’.

Touching upon the Armenian- Azerbaijani, Nagorny Karabakh conflict,
Mr. Armitage stated that the US, too, wants peaceful settlement of
this conflict. `We consider that the Caucasus, in the coming years
might be a very good ally and partner for the West. But, it needs the
existing conflicts here be solved. Therefore, I am also hopeful for
our talk. I hope our conversation will be attractive’.

Head of the foreign relations department of President Administration
Novruz Mammadov, the US ambassador to Azerbaijan Reno Harnish and
other officials participated at the reception.