US diplomat says Caucasus may be America’s good partner

ITAR-TASS News Agency
March 27, 2004 Saturday

US diplomat says Caucasus may be America’s good partner

By Viktor Shulman, Sevindj Abdullayeva


Countries of the Caucasus may become good partners of the U.S. once
they eliminate the conflicts smoldering in this region, Richard
Armitage, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, said here Saturday when
meeting with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.

He stressed the Americans’ support to a peaceful solution of the
Karabakh conflict.

Armitage thanked the Azerbaijani government for supporting the U.S.
war on international terrorism and for the courage that Azerbaijani
peacekeepers were displaying in Afghanistan and Iraq.

President Aliyev pointed out the high level of Azerbaijan’s
cooperation with the U.S., saying a number of large-scale energy
projects, like the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline would have been
unfeasible without U.S. assistance.

He also underlined the high level of military cooperation and said it
would continue developing.

As he mentioned the problems of regional security, Aliyev said the
Azerbaijanis hoped that the Minsk group of the Organization for
Security and Cooperation in Europe, of which the U.S. is a
co-founder, would play a good role in the solution of the Karabakh
conflict between the Azerbaijanis and ethnic Armenians that has been
dragging on since 1988.